Boda boda operator, 49, dies from alleged police beating during curfew enforcement

By Sophie Njoka On Sun, 29 Mar, 2020 15:21 | 2 mins read
police beatings
A 26-year-old man died from beatings and injuries sustained when he was cornered and clobbered by police on March 27, 2020 in Mombasa County. PHOTO | COURTESY

Police in Mombasa County are on the spot following the death of a 49-year-old boda boda rider who died on Sunday from alleged police beating as he was taking a pregnant woman to hospital past the 7pm national curfew.

The man identified as Hamisi Juma Kambiriwa from Ujamaa village in Likoni was allegedly beaten up several times by police officers who were on patrol on Friday night minutes after dropping off the pregnant woman at Mwahima Likoni Hospital.

According to the deceased’s brother, Hidaya Fweda, his brother had been hired to ferry the woman and after dropping her off, he decided to ride back home at about 8 pm.

“Here he was flagged down by police officers who were patrolling the area. However, he defied the orders and drove past them and one of the officers hit him on the hand, then he lost control of his motorcycle and fell on a metal stand that pierced his stomach. The officers cornered him after he fell down and continued to clobber him until he fainted,” Fweda said.

The brother said that Good Samaritans who responded to his distress call ferried him to a private hospital within Likoni where he received first-aid treatment before being taken to Kwale District Hospital.

 “At Kwale District Hospital, he was ordered to undergo several scans which the facility did not have and since his health kept on deteriorating he was ordered to be transferred to Msabweni District Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries,” he said.

Fweda said that the matter was reported at Inuka Police Station. The family has now called on the government to investigate the matter for them to get justice.

Efforts to get the woman who had been admitted at the hospital were futile as hospitals are out of bounds to the public.

However, Likoni Sub County Police Commander Jane Munywoki said that she was not aware of the incident.

“I am not aware of that matter since no officers have reported to me. But since l have heard it from you, let me follow up,” she said.

The body has been taken to the Coast General Hospital for a postmortem.

This happens as civil society groups criticised police officers for using excessive force while enforcing the 7 pm to 5 am curfew in the Coast region.

The groups under the Okoa Mombasa umbrella body have also called for the immediate resignation of Mombasa County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo and regional police bosses for illegally allowing police to brutalise civilians on Friday.

“We demand for the immediate resignation of Kitiyo and all police bosses who allowed violence against commuters. Independence Policing Oversight Authority should take legal action, including prosecution against the said individuals,” said Khelef Khalifa, executive director, Muslim for human rights organization.

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