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Death of Maseno University student: We ran out of teargas – Police

The Maseno Police Station located in Kisumu West Sub County attributed the death of a third-year Maseno University on Monday, March 20, 2023, to their lack of tear gas canisters and blanks as they ran battles with demonstrators along the Kisumu-Busia Road.

The demonstrators had been engaging in demos nationally called for by opposition leader Raila Amollo Odinga to protest the increasingly high cost of living in Kenya and to demonstrate against President William Ruto and his government for allegedly stealing Azimio La Umoja’s presidential victory in the recent August 9, 2022, presidential election.

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Raila had been President Ruto’s major contender and lost by approximately 200,000 votes.

In their shooting incident report, referenced in the Occurrence Book as number 27/20/03/2023 AT 1700 HRS, the Maseno police said students from the University joined other Azimio demonstrators. Together, they invaded and destroyed businesses.

“Maseno University Students joined other Azimio la Umoja demonstrators following the call by its leader.

During the protests, they invaded the Sairam supermarket, Maseno town, and other business premises along the Kisumu-Busia road.

They went ahead and lit bonfires and barricaded stones along the road. After some time, the students started pelting stones at the police line, where they damaged window panes in ten houses and the police station.

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They overpowered the officers who were manning the station: the fact that the officers had run out of teargas canisters and blanks. Six police officers were injured during the skirmishes.

This prompted the officers to quell the intruders by firing live bullets. Consequently, William Mayange, a 3rd-year student, was hit on the neck.

He was rushed to Coptic Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Case PUI and DCI Kisumu west dealing,” read the incident report.

Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyongo mourned the death of William Mayange, saying he had been killed without any lawful cause.

In his statement, the Governor branded the police as trigger-happy and had killed Mr Mayange in cold blood.

“It is unfortunate that instead of using tear gas or rubber bullets, the police chose to fire live ammunition at the students. The police should exhibit professionalism and restraint while quelling riots instead of brutality on un-armed protestors,” said Governor Nyongo.

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He also condoled the family of the deceased and the Maseno University fraternity as he demanded that the police officer who fired the bullet that killed the young student be arrested and prosecuted immediately.

At the same time, Azimio’s leader, Raila Odinga, also announced that the demonstrations would occur every Monday until President William Ruto met his three conditions.

They include that President Ruto must work to lower the rising cost of living as he had promised to do within the first few days of his presidency, the opening of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) computer servers that would show Raila allegedly won and President Ruto and his camp stole the election and finally, the halting of hiring new IEBC commissioners.

Several IEBC commissioners opposed President Ruto’s victory and are among the ones being replaced in a process overseen by the Kenya Kwanza government.

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