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Mathare residents protest against police brutality, carries dead body in Mkokoteni to police station

Angry residents of Nairobi’s Mathare estate protested and carried the body of a dead man they claimed was beaten by police officers after he was found outside during the curfew hours.

The residents said that the 36-year-old man was roughed up and brutally beaten, abandoned, and later passed on due to the injuries he sustained.

The angry residents refused to let the police collect the lifeless body claiming that they refused to take the body the previous night despite being aware that he had died.

The locals said that what angered them most is that the deceased, whom they identified as Vitalis Owino, was impounded by the police as he was returning home after taking his wife to the nearby Baraka Hospital at around 7.30 pm.

The protesters refused to hand over the body to the police and instead wrapped it in a white sheet and decided to take it to Muthaiga police Station in a hand-cart, commonly known as mkokoteni to demand justice for Owino.

However, the police at Muthaiga Police Station dispersed the protesters using teargas and eventually collected the body.

The residents demanded an explanation from the officers over the incident, saying that cases of extra-judicial killings in the slum have increased as the police think everyone around here is a criminal.

The crowd of about 500 protesters pulled the body for close to 40 minutes with branches and chanting, “hii sio corona” along the streets.

Nairobi Police Boss Philip Ndolo refuted the claims saying that the deceased was killed elsewhere and dumped in Mathare.

The police boss noted that locals reported that they found the lifeless body at a playground, but when police went to the scene, they became raucous.

Ndolo said that the protesters were preventing the man’s relatives from knowing what transpired as the police won’t be able to conduct thorough investigations as taking the body had interfered with the scene.

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