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Kibera women mourn victims of post-poll protests

Women in Kibera took to the streets Wednesday to protest police brutality in the area that left some dead and others injured.

The women, some of whom were caught up in the security operation, could not hold back their tears as they demanded justice.

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Mirriam Akinyi, a resident of Katwekera, was shot in the chest with a rubber bullet at her vegetables stall in the market. She was rushed to Kibera South Hospital and is said to be recovering.

“I was going about my daily business selling vegetables in the market. I did not participate in any demonstrations but I was shot,” said Ms Akinyi.

She said no help had been forthcoming and had settled the medical bills on her own despite not being able to go to work.

Demanded answers

The women, led by MCA-elect Cecilia Ayot for Laini Saba Ward, sat on the roads carrying white candles and dressed mostly in black as they demanded answers to why their children and husbands were being killed.

“Our children are getting killed yet they did not participate in the demonstrations. Why should a young child who did not participate in the voting get brutally beaten? We are grieving and we want our cry to be heard,” said Jane Anyango, one of the women leaders.

Ms Anyango said sh had collected spent cartridges in the the previous night when shooting in the area led to the deaths of a number of residents.

The wailing women called on justice for Opposition leader Raila Odinga, whom they said had been robbed of election victory for the fourth time.

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“Raila Odinga was robbed in 2007 and in 2013 and now 2017. We will not allow it because justice has been put on trial. This is a democratic country where free, credible elections need to be practised,” said the women.

The group said it was not only the men who were affected but that women had also queued for long hours to exercise their right to vote.

They also complained of being harassed and sexually violated when security officers invaded their houses.

Relieve anger

“We are here to relieve our anger and make it known that it is not only the men who are suffering. We are in this together and are tired of being locked out,” said Anyango.

Ms Ayot said they were passionate about issues involving security, women legislators and empowerment.

She added that the demonstrators had a legal right to hold peaceful demonstrations without facing intimidation from the police.

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Beatrice Amoit, who lost her child in the protests, said her family had experienced a lot of pain.

Ms Amoit said her child had not participated in any demonstrations but had been beaten to death.

She demanded justice in order to help her family get over the loss.

A woman was also attacked Wednesday by people she claimed were from another community who asked her to stop taking frontline positions on matters concerning post-election violence. A day later, she was still covered in blood.

“I was attacked Wednesday, my house was broken into and my furniture broken,” said the woman.

The women said they could not sleo to sleep at night as they did not know what lurked in the darkness outside their insecure homes.

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