Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has denied claims that police have been using live bullets on peaceful protestors resulting to deaths of Kenyans who were demonstrating after the declaration of presidential election results.
However, Dr Matiang’i said that there were incidences of “lawlessness in Kibera and Mathare in Nairobi as well as some parts of Kisumu”.
He said a number of the protestors took advantage of the situation and looted property in the affected areas.
“Some criminal elements took advantage of the situation to loot property. The police responded and normalcy has returned in the affected areas,” he said.
The minister added that in Kisumu, the protestors tried to set ablaze a bus but they were repulsed by security officers.
There are reports of deaths in Kibera and Mathare as well as a number of slums in Kisumu.
But Dr Matiang’i said he was not aware of any deaths.
He also dismissed claims that the police have been using excessive force.
“The government has to ensure that the lives and properties of Kenyans [are] protected. The right to demonstrate should be carried out in a peaceful manner and without destroying property,” he said.
Dr Matiang’i was accompanied by his ICT counterpart Joseph Mucheru, Dr Monica Juma, head of public service Joseph Kinyua, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett.
Dr Matiang’i accused a section of the media and social media of sharing old footage to show purported deaths and warned that action will be taken against them.
A number of civil society groups have accused the police of using excessive force to deal with the protestors.
The Coalition for Constitution Implementation Kenya (CCI Kenya) in conjunction with the Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya (CGHRD-K) and Bunge la Mwananchi voiced their concerns saying the police should desist from using live bullets.
“We are condemning with the strongest possible terms the use of excessive force by Kenyan security forces in quelling post-election protests,” the statement said.
They claimed that the police were using live bullets in Kisumu, Migori, Rongo, Awendo, Siaya, Usenge and Kibra, Kawangware, Mathare and Kangemi in Nairobi.