Georgina Osoro: Kisumu cop accused of killing Maseno University student goes offline
Georgina Osoro, the Kenya police officer accused of shooting and killing the third year Maseno University student, Wiliam Mayange, on March 20, 2023 during the opposition-led protests, has gone offline.
This is after a section of Kenyans, including Embakasi East Member of Parliament, Babu Owino, accused her of being the person who pulled the decisive trigger on the streets of Kisumu when opposition supporters heeded Azimio leader Raila Odinga’s calls to join him on the streets to protest against the high cost of living and against President William Ruto’s presidency.
Ms Osoro’s photos as well as those of her family members circulated online as a witch hunt gained momentum in making her pay for allegedly killing the young man. In addition to her photos, her social media profiles and mobile phone number were also circulated. Her name and images went viral as many insulted and cursed her for making a fellow mother mourn a son she had sent to University. This prompted Ms Osoro to deactivate her accounts.
In a Maseno Police Statement, the police said the death of My Mayanga was reported to them and they admitted that the killing occurred when police were forced to use live ammunition to control the demonstrating crowds after their tear gas and rubber bullets stock was exhausted.
“Maseno University students joined other Azimio La Umoja demonstrators following the call by its leader. During the protests, they invaded Sairam Supermarket in Maseno town and other business premises along the Kisumu-Busia road. They went ahead and lit bonfires and barricaded stones along the road. At the same time, some students started pelting stones at the police line where they damaged window panes in ten houses and the police station.
They overpowered the officers who were manning the station: the fact that the officers had run out of teargas cannisters and blanks. Six police officers were injured during the skirmishes. This prompted the officers who had been sent out to quell the intruders to fire live bullets . Consequently, William Mayange a 3rd year student was hit on the neck. He was rushed to Coptic Hospital where was pronounced dead on arrival. Case PUI and DCI Kisumu west dealing.” read the statement from Maseno Police Station.
The shooting incident took place in Kisumu City and Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyongo led many in condemning the shooting death of Mr Mayange.
“A trigger-happy police officer today shot and killed a third-year Literature student at Maseno University, without any lawful cause. The student was murdered in cold blood as he and his colleagues were demonstrating at Maseno center over the high cost of living,” said Governor Nyongo in part.
He also called for the swift investigation, arrest and prosecution of the police officer who pulled the trigger that fired the bullet that killed the late Mayange.
“The police should exhibit professionalism and restraint while quelling riots instead of using brutality on unarmed protesters. As we send our messages of condolences to the family of the slain student and the Maseno University fraternity, we demand that the police officer who fired the killer bullet be arrested and prosecuted as soon as possible,” added Governor Nyongo.
Despite neither Maseno Police Station not the Independent Policing Oversight Authority identifying Ms Osoro as the shooter, the beleaguered officer went offline, a reaction to the ongoing online lynching. Prior to going offline, Ms Osoro actively posted on social media about her day to day. Included in her photos were pictures of her in and out of uniform as well as photos of her son. It is these pictures that a section of Kenyans took and used to create posters against her, warning her of dire consequences for allegedly killing My Mayanga.
Over 10 social media accounts on Facebook alone now bear her name and images.
The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) recently launched investigations into the death of the late William Mayange.
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