, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – Pressure continues to pile on the National Police Service over the recent protests by the University of Nairobi Students, who were allegedly mishandled by the anti-riot police officers.
The Police Reforms Working Group is now calling on the police Internal Affairs Unit and Independent Policing Oversight Authority to expedite the ongoing investigations on officers who allegedly used excessive force against students protesting against SONU elections.
- The University Vice Chancellor Prof Peter Mbithi has since refuted claims that some students were raped and other seriously injured by security apparatus during the recent protests over disputed SONU elections.
- Mbithi said only a few students suffered soft tissue injuries and have already been treated and discharged from the hospital.
Independent Medico Legal Unit Programme Manager Peter Aduda says police failed to act professionally even though the aggrieved students were violent.
“We are greatly dismayed by the arrogance and impunity displayed by the police officers,” he lamented.
Addressing journalists on Friday, he said police actions must be aligned to the ongoing police reforms even when confronted by a serious security challenge.
“The incident raises questions on the level of preparedness and sobriety of the National Police Service in dealing with political campaigns and other assemblies associated with upcoming elections,” he said.
The rights groups want the National Police Service Commission to institute disciplinary actions against police officers involved and particularly the officers, “with command responsibility over the operation.”
“Failure to hold the police officers accountable will only entrench a culture of impunity within the National Police Service and undermine the hard fought gains of reforming the police from a force to a service.”
Students who may have sustained serious injuries or sexually molested have been urged to report the matter to relevant authorities for action.
The University Vice Chancellor Prof Peter Mbithi has since refuted claims that some students were raped and other seriously injured by security apparatus during the recent protests over disputed SONU elections.
Mbithi said only a few students suffered soft tissue injuries and have already been treated and discharged from the hospital.
“No life was lost, no serious injuries… as a Vice Chancellor, I have also not received any rape case,” he said while adding that police did not invade the halls of residence within the University.
The protest resulted from a SONU election that saw the re-election of Babu Owino as the chairman.
Mbithi said already an audit is being carried out to establish what exactly happened while saying the University Senate will be recommending changes to the union constitution, to seal any emerging loopholes.