Mystery over shooting of Mathare girl deepens

MONDAY AUGUST 14 2017 | By Daily Nation

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Nairobi County Police Commander Japhet Koome addresses the media on Kenyatta Avenue on August 14, 2017. PHOTO | STELLA CHERONO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

It is not clear who shot the 10- year old girl who was killed during post-election protests in Mathare, police have said.

Nairobi County Police Commander Japhet Koome on Monday said they were yet to establish the source of the bullet that hit the girl in the chest.

EXCESSIVE

He said Stephanie Moraa was shot as police pursued gangsters who were armed with an AK47 assault rifle.

The criminals, he claimed, had disguised themselves as protestors.

“We are doing our investigations about this very unfortunate incident,” Mr Koome said.

His statement came a Kenyans, human rights bodies and others accused police of using excessive force to disperse protesters.

Moraa, a Standard Four pupil at Mathare Primary School, was shot while standing on the balcony of their house.

OUTCRY

Her parents and witnesses maintained that a light-skin police officer fired at her during the protests that broke out on Saturday after IEBC declared President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the August 8 General Election.

The results were rejected by the National Super Alliance and its candidate Raila Odinga, leading to the protests in Mathare, Kibera, Kisumu., Siaya, Homa Bay and other parts of Nyanza.

Post-mortem on her body was done on Monday morning at Chiromo Mortuary. Results are yet to be released.

Human Rights bodies— including the Independent Medico Legal Unit, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Amnesty International among others— have condemned the police behaviour during the protests.

They asked the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to investigate conduct of the officers involved in operations across the country.

Police chiefs and regional commissioners have, however, insisted that the police have not used excessive force in their quest to restore peace and order.

ORDERS

“Police have standing orders. They are well trained and are cognizant of the fact that they only supposed to use force only when it is necessary,” Nairobi Regional Commissioner Bernard Leparmarai said on Sunday.

Mr Koome on his part said he was unapologetic on police officers using force when it is necessary in order to protect life and property.

He denied reports both from the human rights bodies and members of the National Super Alliance that 26 and 100 people, respectively, had died since wednesday.

“I am aware of 10 people and those who died from police bullets were criminals and the excessive use of force was necessary because they were armed,” Mr Koome said during a press conference he conducted on the streets of Nairobi.

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