Police Brutality Claims Lives Again

By Maurice Oniang’o

The use of excessive force by the Kenyan police during Covid-19 containment measures has yet again claimed three lives.

Benson Njiru, 22 and his younger brother Emmanuel Mutura 19, were arrested at Embu town, 80 miles east of Nairobi, on Sunday, August 2, for violating the 10 pm curfew and the family did not hear from them again.

After frantic search and several visits to different police stations in the area, family members discovered their bodies two days later at the local morgue. ‘The parents came to the police station, and they were not told anything about the arrest. So we went to all police stations in the area,’ said Felix Thiga, an uncle to the deceased.

The two brothers, both college students, were selling pork on the fateful day of their arrest. ‘After a busy day, they had over $100, but we found them with nothing yet it is the police who took them to the morgue,’ added Thiga.

Emmanuel & Benson

The area police boss Emily Ngaruiya said preliminary investigations showed the two brothers jumped out of a moving police vehicle and suffered fatal injuries. However, the family has refuted the claims and accused the police officers of killing their sons and dumping their bodies at the morgue.

An autopsy conducted on the bodies of two brothers revealed they died of multiple head and rib injuries. The autopsy was conducted by five pathologists representing the family, human rights organizations and the government. They stated that Mutura’s head was deformed and had bruises on the face, while Njiru suffered broken ribs and brain injuries. “As a result of the examination, I formed the opinion that the cause of death was severe injuries due to blunt force,” said the pathologist’s report.

 Following the demise of the two college students, area residents held a protest on Thursday accusing the police of a cover-up. The irate residents blocked roads and torched a police vehicle.  One person was shot dead during the demonstration.

The Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai has directed the Internal Affairs Unit of the National Police Service to take up the matter and establish circumstances under which Benson Njiru, and his brother Emmanuel Mutura died.

Even as the IG of police ordered for investigation, his boss Dr. Karanja Kibicho, the Principal Secretary, State Department of Interior, said that citizens should take responsibility for their actions and stop blaming the police. During a televised interview, when asked about the rising cases of police brutality as they enforce the Covid-19 restrictions, Dr. Kibicho said that Kenyans should stop using the police as scapegoats. 

‘I don’t want us to take simple excuses of not obeying the covid restrictions because of police. We have a responsibility as individuals to ensure when the government says be at home by 10pm please be at home. The police could be having their weaknesses, but they are not the problem,’ said Dr. Kibicho

Scroll to Top

We are committed to Africa

Unlike many global publications, for nearly a decade we have been committed to showing a complete picture of Africa – not just a single story.  Offended by one-sided coverage of wars, disasters and disease, the founders of Africa.com created a website that provides a balanced view of Africa – current events, business, arts & culture, travel, fashion, sports, information, development, and more.

Will you support us?