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Azimio tells IG Koome to resign over brutality on GenZ protesters

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition leaders have called for the immediate resignation of Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome and Nairobi Police Commander Adamson Bungei over what they say termed State violence against unarmed youthful protesters who took on the government this week over tax proposals in the Finance Bill, 2024.

In a statement read by Azimio co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka, they called on the Director of Public Prosecutions Renson Ingonga to present a case against the two officials and their officers for their roles in the violent suppression of peaceful demonstrators.

“As Azimio and on behalf of the people, we demand that Inspector General Japheth Koome and Nairobi Regional Commander Adamson Bungei immediately tender their resignations for failing to protect the peaceful demonstrators.

“We also demand that the Director of Public Prosecution bring charges against Koome, Bungei, and their rogue officers for the murders of Rex Masai,” Mr Musyoka said in a press briefing in Nairobi.

The Azimio leadership decried what they said was a pattern of violence by security forces, pointing out that the incidents were not isolated.

They cited the tragic events during the Gen-Z-led protests as they also recalled a previous instance where 75 Kenyans lost their lives when the opposition led protests against the high cost of living last year.

In both cases, they said, the police were accused of using excessive force, including firing live bullets into crowds.

“It is evident that there is a big problem with our security officers, as these tragic shootings are not isolated events. Not long ago, when Kenyans marched for Maadamano, 75 people were killed because certain police officers opted to fire live bullets into the peaceful crowds.

“Despite the publicly recorded crimes, the murders of the victims are yet to be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. We have not forgotten and we will never forget,” Mr Muysoka said.

The Wiper Party boss called for the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the killing of Rex Masai, 19, who was among the protesters against the proposed tax laws.

He was allegedly shot by police on Thursday, June 20.

“Rex, like all his comrades, was peaceful, unarmed and non-violent. But he was senselessly gunned down by a police bullet.

“This is a tragic event with far-reaching consequences. We have far too many memories of these tragedies, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the community that has suffered such a terrible loss. We stand with Rex, his family, and his comrades.

“We urge all Kenyans whose Members of Parliament voted for the Finance Bill to begin the process of their Recall. They are Dishonorable Members. We further ask Gen Zs to develop innovative and creative ways of expediently and accurately effecting this.

Former defense minister Eugene Wamalawa highlighted their concerns over President William Ruto’s repeated defiance of court orders. The coalition, comprising various civil society groups and political activists, accused the president of undermining the rule of law and democracy in Kenya.

“…And wherever, and whenever a president violates the constitution the constitution sets out. It’s not about the constitution, it’s not about the law, and he can be impeached.

“So that is one option on the table. You are aware that our courts found the deployment of these officers to Haiti as being unconstitutional. You are aware that he has defied the courts and gone ahead. And insisted, on the way he has pushed these draconian views down the courts,” he said.