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Owino: Police have no apologies to make for violence in Cord demos

Wednesday May 25 2016

A schoolgirl runs past a burning barricade in Kibera slum, Nairobi on May 23, 2016 during a protest by Cord supporters against electoral agency commissioners. Police spokesman Charles Owino on May 24, 2016 said the force has no apologies to make over the deaths that occured during the demonstrations. PHOTO | AFP

A schoolgirl runs past a burning barricade in Kibera slum, Nairobi on May 23, 2016 during a protest by Cord supporters against electoral agency commissioners. Police spokesman Charles Owino on May 24, 2016 said the force has no apologies to make over the deaths that occured during the demonstrations. PHOTO | AFP 

IRENE MUGO
By IRENE MUGO
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Kenya Police Service spokesman Charles Owino has said the force has no apologies to make for the deaths that occurred on Monday during demonstrations against top officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

Speaking to journalists in Nyeri on Tuesday, Mr Owino warned protesters that they should not threaten the lives of officers because police have a responsibility to look out for their safety first before protecting the public.

“Do not threaten the life of a police officer. We have a responsibility to protect ourselves first as we protect the public and other police officers,” Mr Owino asserted.

Mr Owino defended the force used by officers during Monday’s demonstration, saying every protest will have an armed party.

The police spokesman lauded officers especially those in Siaya who were engaged in running battles with protesters for over six hours.

Mr Owino claimed that the protesters hurled stones at officers who responded by "making use of their guns."

“We are not engaging in any political procession either for the government or the Opposition,” he said.

Mr Owino urged Opposition leaders not to run away after seeing anti-riot officers assemble, since leaving an uncontrolled crowd of protesters is unfortunate.

“You are the convener of the demonstration, why should you run?” Mr Owino quipped.

The police spokesman added that they will not hesitate to arrest Opposition leaders and file charges against them.

“We are not afraid of any one. We will arrest the Opposition’s leaders if the law so requires and make sure they are charged in a court of law,” he said.