Mt Elgon residents demonstrate over alleged police brutality in Kopsiro Sub County

Chepyuk Ward MCA Franklin Simotwo addressing the press in Kopsiro on January 16, 2019. Photo/Jayson Alvin/Newsflash.

By Jayson Alva

Residents and Boda boda riders from Kipsigon area in Mt Elgon constituency Bungoma County on Tuesday January 15 held protests decrying constant police brutality.
The peaceful demos that lasted for several hours were lead by Chepyuk ward MCA Franklin Simotwo.
The riders complained of excessive harassment by Kipsigon police station officers led by their OCS.
They said that the officers demand money from them in road blocks every now and then and those who fail to comply are usually arrested and beaten up.
Jack Kibor, the riders chairman said that they have been harassed for a long time that some were contemplating quitting the boda boda business.
‘We know that thuggery incidents that used to happen here in Mt Elgon are now no more and most youths are boda boda riders but what we are witnessing is unacceptable and if it persist it will bring chaos again,’ he said.
He said that even if you have all the needed requirements like license, helmet and insurance the police still demand one hundred shillings before you pass their roadblocks.
He said that in other parts of the country riders operate well without being harassed.
‘We are wondering are we in Kenya or we are in Uganda and we all can not go to start cultivating that is why some of us are boda boda riders,’ he said.
He said that the cops should patrol thoroughly and do other duties instead of only harassing them when even Chang’aa is sold behind the station.
Simon Ndege a trader who sells his groceries at chwele market said that he has been a victim of the police brutality several times.
‘I want action taken against this rogue cops who ask for three hundred shillings when am taking my onions and sweet potatoes to the market, ‘ he said.
He said that he can not continue giving them money he has worked hard to get.
Area MCA Simotwo asked the interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Inspector general of police Joseph Boinnet to transfer the rogue police officers from the area and deploy new ones who are ready to serve residents.
He said that the officers will force the riders to become thugs and bring back insecurity that had been restored.
He said that he will not keep quiet while police harass his electorates.