Date: Saturday 02 December 2023 at 03:45 PM
|‘Kenyans are uncivilised,’ Charles Owino says as he defends police amid deaths during demos by Grey (f) : 20 Jul 2023 07:41am|
Former Police Spokesperson Charles Owino now says that Kenyans themselves are to blame for the deaths witnessed in the ongoing anti-government protests because of their conduct.
Speaking on Citizen TV’s JKLive Show on Wednesday night, Owino absolved police officers from blame for the killings, maintaining that protesters are the ones acting outside the law.
Owino argued that Kenyan citizens are "uncivilized" in their demonstrations and that is why security forces are occasionally forced to use a lot of force to restrain them.
“When people have gone to block the roads, people are burning tires on the roads, you are stopping movements, people cannot go to hospital and go to work, then the police have a right to disperse you,” he said.
“What we must ask ourselves is the position in which the police are finding themselves. Are the organizers of these demonstrations civil in themselves and what is their objective of carrying out these demonstrations?”
Asked who is to blame for over 24 deaths where victims died of gunshots, Owino said: “Because we are not civil, the community is not civil. We are not properly educated on the law…we are not obedient; if we were obedient or civil, we would not have gotten into a confrontation with the police in the first place."
Owino likewise told off those criticizing the men and women in uniform intimating that they should not be blamed for acting to protect citizens and maintaining their mandate of ensuring law and order.
According to Owino, security teams are just like any other persons and their work is just like any other career thus they have a right to protect themselves, depending on the situation.
“There is a lot of prejudice against the police and yet you cannot sleep in your house without the police presence. Police officers will always act on their own without having time to refer to their books or superiors,” he explained.
“We are totally uncivilized…We must take responsibility as a community first. Remember, these policemen are not from the moon, they are our brothers and sisters. This is just a job like any other. Nobody is going to walk here, and start disrupting your session here…people will run over him and throw him out…community must be civil, we must be obedient.”
Owino at the same time refuted claims that officers needed to exercise restraint towards unarmed civilians, underscoring that in most cases as seen in the protests, the police while armed with guns, would be forced to flee from crowds as a way of showing restraint.
“You have seen police officers in the last few days retreating; you have seen them jumping into the lorry…they cannot be overwhelmed when they have the guns. They can shoot them but have decided to restrain them,” Owino stated.
He consequently urged organizers of the demonstrations in the Raila Odinga-led Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party to seek police clearance as stipulated in the law before holding demos.
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