Kenyans are becoming more vocal about local injustices, and public figures such as Boniface Mwangi are leading the charge towards reform.
In a recent post on social media platform Instagram, he drew comparisons between white protestors outside the American embassy, and local citizens who protested police brutality on the streets. The activist pointed out the disparities in how local authorities treat citizens who seek to have their voices heard.Needless to say, the imagery speaks for itself. Captioning the series of images, Mwangi noted “Kenya Police only respect human rights for those they perceive to be rich or well connected.”
After the killing of George Floyd in late May by armed police in the city of Minneapolis, Kenyans have also taken time to reflect on the actions and conduct of local police against unarmed citizens. Since the enactment of the curfew, many have allegedly died under the hands of police, and now it seems the public has had enough.
Several protests have been organized including a peaceful protest earlier this week in honor of Yassin Moyo, who was killed by a bullet shot by a police officer enforcing curfew rules. Non-governmental organizations including Amnesty International, Mathare Social Justice Center and others have been involved to bring attention to various cases of police brutality.
According to a report on the Washington Post, Boniface Mwangi asserted that 19 Kenyans have died from police actions in enforcing the COVID-19 curfew, all from low-income neighborhoods.
He said the Kenyan deaths and the global protests over the killing of George Floyd in the U.S. show that “struggles against police brutality are the same everywhere.”
People are more afraid of the police than COVID-19, Mwangi said.
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Though it is not clear if and when authorities will enact police reforms, it seems activists the likes of Boniface Mwangi are keen to keep bringing light to what they term as crude injustices against the Kenyan people.