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Mashirima Kapombe breaks silence on police brutality as African Commission steps in

Mashirima Kapombe speaks out after witnessing police brutality in Nairobi, as the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights issues statement to the government of Kenya

Media personality Mashirima Kapombe (Instagram)
  • Mashirima Kapombe criticizes police brutality during Nairobi protests
  • Kapombe questions police actions and condemns use of tear gas on peaceful protestors
  • African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights expresses concerns over the Finance Bill 2024 in Kenya

The ongoing protests against the Finance Bill 2024 in Kenya have seen numerous public figures and organisations voicing their concerns and criticisms.

Among them is Mashirima Kapombe, a prominent media personality and Citizen TV reporter, who has been particularly vocal about the actions of the police during the demonstrations in Nairobi.

Mashirima Kapombe has used her social media platforms to express her dismay at the violent actions of the police during the protests.

She has been sharing a series of messages highlighting her anger towards the police and their methods of crowd control.

In one of her posts on X, Kapombe questioned the police's decision to use teargas on peaceful protesters in Nairobi while similar protests in other towns remained non-violent.

"Is there a problem with the police in Nairobi? Why lob teargas at peaceful protestors yet protests are peaceful in every other town?" she wrote.

Her post also included a strong rebuke of the National Police Service, stating, "Violent police, peaceful protestors. National Police Service you are a shame to this Nation."

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has also released a statement addressing the situation in Kenya.

Published on June 18, the statement from Honorable Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso, Country Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Republic of Kenya, expressed serious concerns about the government's proposed tax bill and its implications for the Kenyan public.

The Commission emphasised that any measures affecting the socio-economic wellbeing of citizens, especially the most vulnerable, must involve adequate consultation and consideration of public concerns.

The statement reminded the Government of Kenya that such measures must comply with the African Charter's principles of social justice and proportionality.

The African Commission also raised alarm over a provision within the Finance Bill that would allow the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) unfettered access to individuals' financial records without a warrant or prior notice.

This measure, the Commission warned, sets a dangerous precedent for government overreach and undermines fundamental principles of privacy and civil liberties. Such actions are seen as contrary to the protections guaranteed under the African Charter.

The statement also highlighted the distress and economic hardship that the Finance Bill has triggered among Kenyans.

The increase in the cost of living, stagnant wages, and high unemployment rates have exacerbated the struggles of ordinary citizens. The Commission pointed out that these issues run counter to the principles of social justice and equality that the African Charter seeks to uphold.

In light of these concerns, the African Commission has called upon the Government of Kenya to take several actions:

  • Engage in constructive and inclusive dialogue: The government should involve various stakeholders, including the public, in discussions about the tax measures to ensure that all voices are heard and considered.
  • Explore alternative measures: The government is encouraged to seek other revenue-generating measures that do not disproportionately burden the vulnerable sections of society.
  • Respect the right to peaceful protest: The government must respect and protect the citizens' right to peaceful assembly and expression.
  • Release those arrested for peaceful protests: The Commission urges the immediate release of individuals detained for participating in peaceful protests.
  • Ensure respect for personal data protection: The government should uphold the principles of data privacy and refrain from overreaching measures that violate individuals' rights to privacy.

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Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

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