(Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga)
By Marvin Chege
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has condemned the rise of police brutality in the country as he joined thousands of protesters in the United States in protesting against the murder of George Floyd by police officers.
In a statement released on Tuesday June 2, he prayed for justice to be served noting that it was vital for dark skinned people to stop being profiled for the colour of their skin.
He also called out police brutality that has rocked the country ever since President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered a dusk to dawn national curfew on March 27 to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
“I join thousands out there in saying a prayer for the family of George Floyd and – more importantly for the US – a prayer that there be justice and freedom for all human beings who call America their country and that citizens be judged by the content of their character, not the colour of their skin.
“It is a prayer America can fulfill for George and all its citizens. It is a prayer that we in Africa too owe our citizens even as we stand with Floyd’s family in the US,” read his statement.
His statement came in the wake of Kenyans congregated outside the United States embassy on Tuesday morning to protest against racism and police brutality.
Photos went round of Kenyans and expats bending on one knee in protest against racial profiling and killing of African Americans in the United States.
They also called for justice for Kenyans who lost their lives at the hands of rogue police officers.
According to a report by the Standard, 77 people have died or gone missing since the beginning of the year at the hands of rogue police officers.
The latest case occured on on Monday June 1 involving the killing of a homeless man in Mathare by Kenya Police officers who were reinforcing curfew rules.
The man only identified as Vaite was previously working as a loader at Marikiti Market.
He would spend his nights in the streets and pavements at Mathare slums according to those familiar with him.
Shortly after he was gunned down, area residents in their hundreds took to the streets in protests, going against social distancing rules in search for justice.
The incident was shared by activist Boniface Mwangi on his Twitter page.
“Kenya Police have shot dead a homeless man in Mathare, Bondeni area. He works as a loader in Marikiti but sleeps in the streets, residents call him Vaite. About 300 people have defied the curfew and are protesting the extrajudicial killing.” read his tweet.
As early as Tuesday morning Kenyans took to social media in their numbers, using the hashtag #JusticeForVaite to call out police brutality.
The incident at Mathare area follows a similar one in March when police officers shot and killed a 13 year old boy in Kiamaiko, Huruma Estate.
Raila joined world governing bodies and companies in condemning the killing of George Floyd.
A tweet posted by CNN showed George Floyd’s last words flying over several US cities.
Sony’s game division PlayStation announced they would postpone the PlayStation 5 release slated for June 4 to give way for people to voice their opinions over Floyd’s death.
Several footballers and football clubs have come out to condemn the incident including the likes of Manchester United star Marcus Rashford and Chelsea Football Club.
Boxing great Floyd Mayweather has offered to cover the funeral expenses for George Floyd.
Read the tweets below: