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New details emerge on woman tackled by police during Saba Saba protests in Kisii

Even in the time of war women and children are protected - Dr. Ezekiel Mutua

Viral photo of an elderly woman running past a police officer in Kisii during the Saba Saba protests (Courtesy)

New details have emerged on the elderly woman who was caught on camera being handled by the police during the Saba Saba protests in Kisii county, sparking outrage and amid claims of police brutality.

The photo captured the elderly lady running past a police officer who appeared to be in motion with his button raised as if giving the woman a beating.

Many opined that the lady was harmless and was merely caught up in the chaos and as such did not warrant the force depicted in the photo as she was going about her normal business, perhaps coming from the farm.

At the time the photo was taken, the woman had a small sack on her head and a jembe.


A source familiar with the lady told the press that she hails from Suneka in Kisii county, claiming that she has mental health challenges.

"The woman in this photo comes from Suneka. She is mentally unstable," the source told a section of the press, decrying the alleged excessive force meted on her.

Reports of grieving and battling mental health challenges

Media reports attributed to persons familiar with the elderly lady further allege that she is grieving, having lost her son recently in unclear circumstances, only for fate to bring her face to face with the police during the Friday protests.


"Her son died mysteriously days ago, alleged to have died by suicide while some claimed he was murdered.

"As if that wasn't enough, the cruel world toppled this mama to yet another harsh treatment of a police beating. She was caught in the anti-government riots. In all fairness and standards, allow me to call out to the police for acting with cruelty," added the source.

The photo went viral on social media, sparking mixed reactions with some accusing the police of using excessive force to quell the protests.

Reactions on social media


Ezekiel Mutua condemned the police officer noting that “even in the time of war women and children are protected. The officer could have helped Mama cross the road and lead her to safety. Taking pleasure in brandishing that rungu on her is proof that we are a sick society.”

Woody Mokua@WoodyMokuaN: We lost it, these photos speak volumes; she cannot even harm an insect, it is so wrong.

montes@edkiras5: It's very wrong. This shows how rotten we are as a society.

Reuben Sigey@Rsigey1Rsigey: It’s total madness! He can clearly see that the lady was not even demonstrating, she’s carrying a jembe, must have been from some shamba……aren’t these Kenyan police trained on anything else apart from violence?


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