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Exclusive: Father whose toddler was teargassed speaks on ordeal

Kenyan comedian turned activist Eric Omondi visited Victor Juma on July 21 after anti-riot police arrested him.

Juma is the man in the viral clip where he faced off with anti-riot law enforcement authorities in Mathare Constituency when they lobbed tear gas into his house.

In the viral video, Mr Juma could be heard asking the police officers why they threw tear gas into his house when no one from his household was out on the streets participating in the opposition-led demonstrations being witnessed countrywide.

“Why have you tear gassed my child? Who are you pointing at? You want to shoot me? Just know you have also sired children. You want to kill my child? You’ve tear gassed my child and she fainted in the house.  Beat me.  I haven’t carried any weapons. I have come from the house to tell you the truth. What are you telling me? You are hurting our children. Why did you tear gas my child?” Juma shouted at the gathered officers.

One officer pretending to be a journalist rushed up behind him and arrested him, leading him to his colleagues, who bundled him up into a police lorry. They also taunted him for ‘behaving like a man’ as they manhandled him.

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According to Eric Omondi, in an exclusive interview with Nairobi News, Mr Juma is not doing well in police custody but expressed hopes that he will soon be fine.

“He has just been taken to Milimani Law Courts and I am following him there. He was arrested for unlawful assembly. Right now, we want to look at paying his bail- to look into his legal rights to get a cash bail- and then look into getting him a job to take care of his family. We are yet to know what work he would go for because we are focused on securing his freedom,” began Eric Omondi.

He also revealed that Mr Juma told him it had been intentional that the police fired the tear gas into his house while battling demonstrators and the gas made his toddler daughter collapse.

Mr Omondi further added that during that time, Juma and his wife were baffled about what to do next- to either rush the child to the hospital or stay home and remain safe because demonstrators were facing off with police and they ran the risk of being beaten by police no matter their urgency.

Then, Mr Juma headed out and angrily faced off with gathered anti-riot police officers as his wife nursed their child back to health.

Eric Omondi is set to visit with the family as soon as Juma is released and reunited with his family.

Also read:Exclusive: How residents of Kibera suffer in their shacks during demos