“[to a patrolman who has given someone a ticket at the urging for more arrests] Baker, Let me let you in on a little secret, The patrolling officer on his beat is the one true dictatorship in America, we can lock a guy up on the humble, lock him up for real, or say f*** it and drink ourselves to death under the expressway and our side partners will cover us, No one – I mean no one – tells us how to waste our shift!” – Jimmy McNulty – (The Wire – Episode 10 ‘Misgivings’ Season 4, 2006)
Over the last two days there been lots of victims of police brutality in Uganda and in Kenya. This being in Central Kampala yesterday or today in Mombasa or in Nairobi. This as the new measures by the state to order people home and closing lots of businesses. That is all done to battle the COVID-19 and the Corona virus. However, the Police is acting up and using colonial means to stop people from being around.
Instead of trying to common sense, even talk. They are using batons and using weapons against citizens. They are arresting and putting them on the back of pickups. They are collected together in small spaces, put on their knees and awaiting further bad treatment from the police. This is the misuse of power. Instead of understanding the issues with the Liknoi Ferry or anywhere else. Instad of trying to understand the fruit-seller. The police is using violence and brutality.
They are instead of educating the general public on social distancing, which is needed in this time. The Police are actually using other means. They are actually gathering the public and putting them together. In ways which is dangerous for spreading the virus. Which is the reason for the curfew or the lock-down measures. These sort of measures made to stop the public from being out and about.
Yes, the public should stay home, but also have to recollect. As there are a grand public who lacks funds, who lacks fiscal funding to survive in this trying times. It is not like the state has configured extra money or pay-offs for the civil servants or the informal sectors in the Republics. They just got to survive the days at home without a salary. They are cut off from work and has no compensation.
The states should see this, but the Kenyan or Ugandan government haven’t figured this out. They are instead using the army and police to brutally assault citizens who are still out and about. This is the sort of violence that triggers more fear not a solidarity to stay home. They are more frightened and concerned, instead of being educated and get a deeper understanding of why these measures was made. That is what a police officer or soldier should explain to the vendor, the hawker or whoever they pass by on the streets. Not beat on them like crazy… that is not making things better, but instead… worse.
In both republic’s the police needs a lesson. They need to know better. They are hitting the tax-payer. They are violating their rights. This is something the High Ranking Police Commanders needs to answer for. They need to answer and come correct, because the last 48 hours they been all wrong.
This is police brutality and its unforgivable. They are using batons on civilians. This is really terrible. Tragic. The pain and suffering these citizens has, just because they were in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Because of that, they we’re hurt and assaulted. These people deserved to be treated equally and not met with violence.
However, that was the prescription from the Police. They need to answer for this and also answer to the victims. Who were stacked together in the times of social distancing. Seriously, how dangerous are you and how are misusing your power? Peace.