Mother’s in Slums want politicians to embrace dialogue to stop police brutality.
Friday, 21st April 2023
By Missing Voices Reporter
Young mother’s in Mathare slums have slammed the police for lobbing teargas cannisters to people who were not part of demonstrators during the anti-government protests in March.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga called for countrywide anti-government protests against president Ruto and a high cost of living.
Several mothers who spoke to Missing Voices in Mathare said they were teargassed while they were inside their houses taking care of their children, some as only a few weeks old.
“The teargas canister hit the roof of my house and landed on the floor. It then exploded. I had about eight children in the house,” Priscilla,who operates a day care facility from her house told Missing Voices yesterday.
“It pained me both as a mother and a woman. Children were choked after inhaling the gas,my son has not recovered from the shock,” Aoko said.
She said other children under her care sustained burns on their legs.
Aoko said, “Leaders should have a sitting and agree on the way forward and look into the plight of those who were affected during the demonstrations especially the single parent whose child sustained burns from a teargas canister”.
19 year old Lavenda Rose told Missing Voices that on March 30, which marked the last protest affected her two months old baby.
“My baby started producing foam from the mouth and had a congested chest after inhaling teargas. I rushed her to hospital for first aid.”
She wondered why police attacked people who were watching television inside their houses.
“What I am unhappy about is the fact that the youths were protesting along the road but I don’t understand why teargas canisters were fired into our houses yet we were with children who were not demonstrating,” she said.
Rose urged both opposition leader Raila Odinga and president Ruto to embrace dialogue.
“I want Raila and Ruto to sit down and talk. It is us who are suffering. People were protesting peacefully so that the cost of living can go down but instead the cost of living is rising and children are suffering,” she said.
An elderly woman, Flora Okumba, said she rushed her expectant granddaughter to hospital who had collapsed after inhaling teargas fumes.
” She was not part of the demonstrators. The government should stop these chaotic scenes in future. We want peace. I have 13 grandchildren who depend on me for survival,” said Okumba.
President Ruto initiated a bipartisan approach to end the anti-government protests that caused several deaths, serious injuries as well as loss of lives.
Politicians from both the president’s party and Raila’s party are engaging in dialogue. The opposition heeded to the calls and briefly postponing the protests. He however later withdrew his team from the talks saying they were not well-intentioned.
Opposition leader Raila said he would give directions after Ramadan on whether or not he’ll call his supporters back to the street.