Cheptais residents protest police brutality and curfew extension.

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Residents of Cheptais market and its environs in Mt Elgon constituency on June 7 protested police brutality that is being meted on them.

They claimed that the security agencies were using the recently extended curfew by the internal security cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i to unleash terror to innocent residents.

Carrying placards and chanting traditional circumcision songs, the angry residents escorted police officers to their station at Cheptais market and pleaded with them not to harass them again.

Peter Chem a human rights activist and Amos Chemabus a political activist said that they were tired of police harassment in the region.

“The business community is suffering, learners are facing the same wrath, farm produce is rotting in the farmers because we can’t access markets on time, majority of our produce are perishable,” said Chemabus.

Mr.Chem decried the rampant beatings and arbitrary arrests that is being subjected to innocent people by security agencies enforcing the curfew in the region.

“We are tired, we want the security personnel withdrawn or warned against forceful beatings, we are tired now, if the masterminds of the killings have surrendered why should the police continue harassing us?” Posed Chem.

Chemabus asked the police to continue searching for illegal guns without necessarily subjecting residents to torture, Mt Elgon residents have suffered enough and it is time they should be allowed carry on businesses.

He asked the government to arrest all those mentioned in planning, financing and executing the recent killings so that calm can return in the region.

Mt Elgon Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) woman representative Jemimah Temko said that the operation which is to be effected from 9pm is effected from 6pm thus disadvantaging school leaving children.

“Children are chased like thieves by security personnel, this is against the child rights law, it is causing fear among learners and teachers, this curfew us affecting the education level in the region, we want it lifted immediately,” she said

Mr.Matiang’i has extended the curfew in Mt Elgon for another one month after the expiry of the three month dusk to dawn curfew that he had imposed in March 6.

So far the criminal leaders of a gang terrorising Mt Elgon residents, Timothy Kiptanui Kitai alias Cheparkach and his deputy Nicholas Ngeywo Kitai have been arraigned in a Bungoma court after they surrendered to police in Eldoret and Kericho respectively.