Azimio coalition leader, Raila Odinga, has accused Ruto’s regime of using extrajudicial firing squads and the police to scare kenyan citizens from taking part in the maandamano demonstrations.
• Azimio leader, Raila Odinga accuses Ruto’s regime of deploying illegal firing squads during Maandamano.
• In a statement, the former prime minister says that this is a retaliation tactic to scare kenyans from taking part in the demonstrations.
The former Prime minister also ascribed the recent extrajudicial police killings during the saba saba protests to a retaliation strategy by the current Regime.
According to Raila, this heavy-handed approach is aimed at intimidating Kenyans and dissuading them from raising their voices against the government.
“Almost always, those shot dead are innocent Kenyans not involved in demonstrations. These killings are meant to spread fear among Kenyans so that they succumb to the excesses of the regime. This time round, it is not the official security officers that are being unleashed on Kenyans. Kenya Kwanza has embedded a trained killer squad in the name of Operation Support Unit into the official security agencies and unleashed it on Kenyans,” said Raila in an official released statement.
The OSU firing squad was reportedly, officially disbanded by the former Director of Criminal Investigations, George Kinoti on the new year’s eve of 2019 and it’s members transferred to other units within the country.
Extrajudicial Firing Squad
However, members of the formerly disbanded, Operation Support Unit were allegedly spotted in various parts of Nairobi during the protests on Wednesday, 12th of July.
“OSU, now under Mr. Zakary Kariuki, was disbanded a few years ago and it’s members sent home. The squad is back. last Wednesday, OSU was in action in Kamukunji, Jogoo Road and Mlolongo, firing at protesters and killing some,” read the statement.
According to the Azimio leader, this illegal firing squad was allegedly on a mission to execute leaders of the Azimio coalition during the protests to further weaken their resolve and that of their fellow protesters.
“OSU’s main brief is to hurt and execute Azimion leaders and protesters. It is the squad Ruto is counting on “Kusafirisha” Azimion leaders as Mr. Ruto Warned,” added the former Prime minister.
Raila also ascribed the recent victims of extrajudicial police killings to martyrs of the liberation struggle and acknowledged those arrested during the protests as political prisoners.
“As we soldier on, we condole with the families of those killed by Ruto and celebrate them as martyrs of our liberation. We acknowledge all those being arrested and charged and acknowledge them as political prisoners. We shall overcome!” concluded the statement by Azimion coalition leader.
The right to protest remains a crucial pillar of democracy, and any disregarding of this right threatens the overall progress of any nation.
It is therefore important for the government to investigate these allegations thoroughly, hold anyone responsible accountable and work towards creating a nation where citizens can express their concerns freely and without fear.