Nine Kisumu County Government Askaris believed to have been behind the dragging incident will be charged today in Kisumu Law Courts.
A video trended for a better part of Wednesday showing county officials dragging a woman behind a pick-up on a tarmac road. The woman, a hawker, said that the officials had confiscated her items and had refused to hand them back to her.
Rogue Kisumu County askaris dragging a woman hawker on the tarmac with their vehicle. The impunity that this County Government has is on another level. And instead of taking the injured to hospital, they are rushing to Central Police Station to have the culprit detained. pic.twitter.com/iU4SmyiTw4
— TheNortherner (@alaminkimathi) March 24, 2021
Beatrice Magolo sustained soft tissue injuries in the incident. The video led to national outrage and demands for action against the perpetrators. Furthermore, Magolo has also moved to court to sue the county government.
She also denied that the county government had given her a stall to sell her wares. She added that the County government hadn’t even bothered to clear her hospital bills.
County Police Commander, Samuel Anampiu, confirmed they would charge the nine today. The suspects had spent the night at Kisumu Central Police Station. They will face charges of causing grievous bodily harm and assaulting the hawker.
The nine are Kevin Omondi, Victor Odiyo Ochieng’, George Nyonje, Faith Akoth, and Martin Olwa. There were also Japhet Odero, Josephat Rowa, Vincent Okeyo, and Paul Ochieng’.
Respect of human rights
Kisumu County Governor Anyang’s Nyong’o stated that the incident had saddened and shocked him. He had directed the suspension of the askaris from the County Government until the investigations ended.
“As investigations continue, I have directed that the City Manager to immediately suspend all the officers involved in the incident from duty with immediate effect, until the conclusion of the ongoing probe into the matter,” Nyong’o said in his statement yesterday.
The Governor called on all County enforcement officers to carry out their duties while fully respecting the citizens’ human rights.
This is not the only time that County askaris are going against fundamental human rights when on duty. A few years back, an investigation by KTN revealed how Nairobi County askaris used their power to intimidate, extort and even kill hawkers in the city.