Nairobi woman rep–elect Esther Passaris and other women leaders have given acting Interior CS Fred Matiang’i 48 hours to admit that police used excessive force, causing deaths during protests that followed the presidential results announcement on Friday.
The women want Matiang’i to apologise to Kenyans, saying they have evidence contradicting his remarks.
They argued they have the data on how many people have been killed in opposition strongholds and are willing to share it with the police.
The women hinted at the possibility of the state conducting mass burials as the bodies in Kisumu remain missing. They are not in morgues.
“In Kisumu, there are 61 people who had gunshot wounds and are not in hospital because health workers are not working. All were beaten up in slum areas. There is an unannounced curfew. People are stranded in their houses. The bodies of the dead are not in the mortuaries,” they said in a statement.
They also said the violence being experienced by women and children is heart-wrenching and survivors of sexual violence in Kibera, Mathare and other slums are not able to access medical care due to the heavy presence of police and the possibility of being divorced.
Leaders’ wives should speak out
They lashed out at First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, DP William Ruto’s wife Rachel and also Raila Odinga’s wife Ida for remaining silent over the atrocities.
They urged them to stand in solidarity with suffering women and children, as their voices are critical.
Winnie Ogot, a human rights crusader from Nyanza, said the heavy presence of police is barring sick women and those who have been raped from going to hospital.
Security agencies should exercise due restraint, even as they try to restore order, she said.
“Images of six-month-old baby Pendo hooked to wires in a hospital touches every woman. There is no hooliganism in her; there is no common criminality in her. The same goes for Baby Stephanie. Matiang’i and other security chiefs must withdraw the statement that only criminals were shot at or injured,” the statement said.
“If one is to report the crimes the report is to be made at the police station. How does one report a crime to the oppressor? Police are supposed to protect us … not to rape and violate us … Where are we supposed to go when our protector is now our violator?”
On the flip side, the situation was different in Garissa. This is so because violence in that region was instigated by a woman. It is said that the former MP of that area paid boys to burn the market with all the produce inside, they said.
“It is sad that women are allowing themselves to be used by men for selfish gain. Women, who are the ones who mostly stock their wares in the market, have lost a lot economically. It is very unfortunate,” the statement said.