Police brutality: Open letter to Kenya anti-riot police

Dear men and women of (dis)service,

I hope this finds you well. I was well too, until I watched that video of you teargassing kids in a classroom. You seem to be people of little patience, so I won’t dwell much on how we are and what not.

You need police dogs to handle a bunch of kids claiming their playground? Shame indeed Photo courtesy/Pinterest

It was another strike as if letting loose trained police dogs on kids whose playground was being grabbed last year was not enough. Clobbering   6-month old baby Samantha Pendo was never enough. Killing Moraa who was standing on a balcony above her parents’ balcony definitely was never going to be enough either.

So you invaded a learning institution. The University of Nairobi is a respectable learning institution. And humiliated a lecturer in front of her students. If I were you, I would have seen her bitter Facebook post by now and sought her to offer a personal apology. But I’m not you, and I’m glad I am not.

You are emotionless robots trained to kick anything in your sight that moves. Kick it till it stays still (probably lifeless), then kick it some more till it moves out of your sight. You seem to live to live for nothing apart from the brute. How do you sleep at night? How does someone somewhere call you a loving spouse?

The highest moments in your life seem to be when you are hurting someone innocent. Do you even have principles by which you live? As individuals and as a force, but mostly as individuals?

I have previously ranted about you here. You can read the rant on this link; Rise of rogue cops. At that time, it was a one-sided argument and I was told I should have heard your side of the story. Know what? I am glad I didn’t. When your bosses go on national TV to try and justify you hurting our sisters and brothers, then you don’t deserve to tell your side of the story. You cannot justify leaving someone permanently traumatized, and maybe with physical reminders of what they went through.

When your bosses go on national TV to try and justify you hurting our sisters and brothers, then you don’t deserve to tell your side of the story. You cannot justify leaving someone permanently traumatized, and maybe with physical reminders of what they went through.

In case you missed it, your boss thinks we should not judge you by 3-seconds clips doing rounds on social media. Okay, how long does one film brutal use of force for it to be convincing that someone is getting hurt?

He also said that you were called in after thugs gained entry into the institution and masqueraded as students. Did the thugs run into a class, retrieve books and nominate one of them to masquerade as a lecturer? If you get a moment with him, kindly ask him if he made sense even to himself.


According to IG Boinett, this is a thug masquerading as a student. Photo/Courtesy

Worse off, the people supposed to keep you in check- IPOA- in their press release said there was NO EVIDENCE OF FATALITIES.

Like someone asked on Twitter, are you at war with school-going Kenyan children? Is there something between you that the other Kenyans don’t know about? Did they wrong you in any way?

Learning institutions, like places of worship, are sacred. When you are pursuing an enemy and they seek solace in a place of worship, you let them be. And if you have to hit them, you wait for them to come out. Because striking while they are in there is considered sacrilegious. And the misfortune that befalls you thereafter is too heavy a burden. Ask anyone who knows religion. Maybe read the bible more.

Here’s what is going to happen. We are going to accept and move on. Like we have always done. It is only those who retreat who live to fight another day, they say. We won’t fight literally though because our taxes are being used to make you stronger with each passing day. It will be well with our souls. Just do us a favor and remember one thing, malipo ni hapa duniani (you will reap what you sow)

Moraa Nyarangi who was killed by a stray bullet in Mathare Nairobi

When time will have healed us and calm will have returned, you will need us to see you as friends with your ‘Utumishi kwa wote’ motto. You will want us not to see you as tormentors but protectors. You will plead for our support. Who knows, you might even want us to buy you chai because your superiors will have gone back to being oblivious about your wellbeing.

In times of tragedy, you will want us to stand with you. Remember Baragoi? But we will stand back, fold our arms across our chests and repeat it to you, “malipo ni hapa duniani.” Yes, we will be that unforgiving!


I, however, pray that no tragedy befalls you. Because unlike you, I don’t wish harm upon my countrymen. So I wish you well. I hope that you serve the forces faithfully till you retire without any tragedy befalling you.  

I pray that you raise your families well, and give your children the best education- in private or overseas universities. Because if they go to public institutions, with the injustices perpetrated against public university students, demonstrations are bound to arise and your successors will handle your children the same you are handling other people’s children now. Then you will know the pain of your daughter being thrown from the second floor because she refused to be raped.

That’s all for now!

Yours sincerely,

‘Friend of the forces.’

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