, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – A sombre mood engulfed the room where the National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters had gathered to raise funds for the victims who allegedly died of police brutality following running battles between security forces and the coalition’s supporters when Raila Odinga had returned to the country from the United States.
Speaking at the event, Odinga condemned the use of excessive force against unarmed Kenyans who had turned out to welcome him from the US wondering why their lives had to be snuffed out in such brutal manner.
“I should have stayed in the United States of America. People come out to welcome me but instead they receive bullets and tear gas,” a visibly angry Odinga said.
“Why did they have to die? What crimes did they commit? These are the question the government must answer.”
Overwhelmed with emotions, Odinga asked why the government didn’t arrest him at the airport if he was the problem instead of innocent Kenyans being beaten to death.
The coalition puts the number of those who allegedly lost their lives because of police brutality at 28 and vowed to hold a memorial service in their memory.
“That day, when they are celebrating in Kasarani, we will hold a memorial service at Jacaranda grounds. It will not be a public rally but a memorial service,” Odinga clarified.
Former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama wondered why they had to gather to raise funds to bury instead of using the funds to build the nation.
“Today is a sad day,” he said. “Instead of building the nation, we are collecting money to bury those who died without reason.”
Siaya Senator Orengo James vowed to pursue through private prosecutions those who are alleged to have killed the NASA supporters should the government fail to take responsibility.
“Mark my words, this matter will not end here. We will pursue private prosecutions and also take the perpetrators to the International Criminal Court,” he said.
Dagorretti North Member of Parliament Simba Arati, on the other hand, vowed the coalition will never allow any of their members to be killed again. He said they will use other effective means that will not put their supporters in harm’s way.
“We are not going to shed any more blood in the struggle. We won’t allow any more loss of lives,” he said receiving a thunderous applause from the audience.
The fundraiser was attended by NASA parliamentary group leaders including Co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, families of the alleged victims of police brutality and supporters of the opposition Alliance.
Odinga made a personal contribution of Sh1mn towards the burial arrangements of the victims.