Is there truth to alleged barbarity in Kuria?


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US author Mark Twain once said ‘Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt’. And Kenyans are hearing denials, not from Egypt, but nearer here in Kuria District.

Even as the area police boss denies there is a problem in Kuria following an ongoing GSU operation, photographs of abandoned business premises, the murmurs and fearful glances of locals is testimony to something beastly.

As we speak, a UN Rapporteur is crisscrossing the country to collect evidence of alleged extra-judicial killings.

The mere fact that a special representative of the UN Secretary General was sent here is indictment enough that all is not well in Kenya.

Police brutality is looked down upon the world over. Most police forces carry a motto with a singularly welcome refrain giving it responsibility to serve without fear or favour. So is it with Kenya’s Utumishi Kwa Wote (service for all). So, is there truth to the murmurs from Kuria?

Political repression

Unfortunately, there abound instances from the 1970s’ university riot crackdowns, to political repression in the 1980s and most recently, crackdown on plural politics campaigners and allegations of human rights abuses in Mount Elgon and Mandera.

Denials of excesses by rogue security units is not the solution even when there is glaring evidence to the contrary.

A concerted effort to fight such impunity through community policing, integrated and grassroots targeted development programmes as well as human rights training for law enforcers would reduce poverty levels and eliminate barbarity.

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