Social Justice Centers Working Group and Wananchi
Each month, between 10 to 15 young men from Nairobi’s informal settlements are reported missing or killed by police. Over 800 cases have been reported by the Social Justice Centres Working Group to the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), but this oversight organisation has only achieved to bring 2 cases to court. In Mukuru, Mathare, Githurai, Kayole and Dandora alone over 10 youth aged between 14 and 24 years old were executed by police in the month of May.
By remembering all these victims and recognizing the pain and trauma of loss on such a grand scale in Nairobi’s settlements, we peacefully demand for acute police reform. We demand an end to extrajudicial executions by police and investigations on the ‘Killer Cops’ that terrorise our neighbourhoods. These killer cops are plain clothes police officers who are well known by the community and who walk around with death lists and execute people with impunity, even in broad daylight and in front of witnesses, witnesses who are afraid to come out and give testimony because they are consistently threatened and intimidated.
These executions by ‘Killer Cops’ have been going on for decades, but since 2003 it has increased exponentially. The fact that these killings have been going on, have been allowed to increase and still take place on a regular basis is a grave indication of the State’s non-commitment to comprehensively address these systemic and gross human rights violations against its citizens.
Saba Saba Day on 7 July celebrates the day when in 1990 protesters in Kenya demanded multiparty democracy and called for free and fair elections. Their efforts led to constitutional change in 1991 through the repeal of section 2a to allow multiparty elections. The Saba Saba protestors in 1990 were led by renowned freedom fighters for the second liberation of Kenya such as James Orengo, Paul Muite, John Khaminwa, Gitobu Imanyara, Charles Rubia and Kenneth Matiba. These protests were violently disrupted by the police, but this did not stop the tide of change. We choose to march on this day to to show the world that despite the various promises by the president and his government to uphold the constitution and end systemic and excessive police violence and spearhead police reforms, the killings of our youths have not stopped, in fact, they have only increased.
Our Kenya constitution 2010 Chapter Four – The Bill Of Right stipulates that ‘every person has the right to life’.
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