KISII, Kenya Jul 6 – The killing of a hawker who sells sanitisers and masks sparked protests in Kisii Sunday, leading to the torching of a police station.
The man was shot dead at Rioma Police station in Marani sub-county, triggering violent demonstrations.
A police station was set ablaze, in a similar fashion to what happened in Lessos police station last week, when a man was shot dead after a confrontation between police officers and a boda boda rider.
In the Lessos incident, the man identified by locals as a famous cobbler was killed when a bullet aimed at a surging crowd hit him. Residents then forced their way to the station where they burnt a block, before two people were killed.
In the Kisii incident, a local administrator at Rioma said it was market day and the man was shot when he allegedly attempted to take grab a gun from officers who had taken him to the police station for questioning.
The theory was disputed by locals who hurled stones at the station and even burnt an office block.
“Today being a market day, locals had gone to buy and sell their products at Rioma market when the deceased was confronted by the police officers, “said Evans Onchiri, a local chief.
Police Spokesman Charles Owino said he will comment on the matter once he has gathered sufficient details from the ground.
Kenya has witnessed nearly 20 incidents of a clash between civilians and police officers implementing an order for everyone to wear a mask while in public.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority, IPOA, said it had documented up to 15 deaths resulting from such confrontation while many more remained wounded.
Some have been charged, among them a police officer who shot a young boy who was playing on their balcony in Huruma area.