By Andrew Wasike
"Rein in Police" was the message Human Rights Watch delivered in a report released on Wednesday condemning Kenyan police brutality and killings of protesters in the wake of ongoing opposition protests of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Oct. 26 presidential win.
"Political violence has surged with people getting killed every day," Otsieno Namwaya, Africa researcher at HRW said, adding: "Yet again, we are getting worrying reports that police are using excessive force, beating and killing protesters and even those not participating in protests".
The rights group said: "In October, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International documented at least 67 killings, most by gunshot, during protests by opposition supporters after the electoral commission declared Kenyatta the winner of the August 8 election".
It added that mortuaries in Nairobi had said that they had received at least 18 bodies all with gunshot wounds in the month of November alone.
Namwaya urged authorities to condemn and investigate recent killings, and hold perpetrators to account.
"President Kenyatta and other government officials should condemn ongoing killings and ensure that there are thorough and independent investigations into such killings and the role of any armed groups in the violence,” he said. "Kenya has to put an end to the culture of election-related violence, unlawful killings by police, and impunity for abusive officers."
The Kenyan police have indeed agreed to the fact that at least 10 people have been killed in the past two weeks during opposition protests.
Kenyans went to the polls on Oct. 26 to vote for their preferred presidential candidate in a rerun that pitched opposition leader Raila Odinga against Kenyatta. The rerun was boycotted by Odinga while Kenyatta urged voters to go to the polls.
Kenya's top court had annulled Kenyatta’s first win citing mass irregularities and illegalities. However, it upheld his Oct. 26 win throwing out two cases challenging his victory.