Police Brutality on KMPDU Secretary General Dr. Davji Atellah Will Not Be Punished

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The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union has called for the closure of all hospitals in the country after its Secretary General Davji Bhimji Attellah was hit by a teargas canister in Thursday protests. 

KMPDU Chairperson Abi Mwachi called on all doctors to assemble at Ufungano House in Nairobi next week on a date that will be communicated to raise their unified voices against totalitarianism and violence.

“What this means expressly is that we expect a nationwide industrial action and closure of all hospitals – public and private,” he said. 

Furthermore, Mwachi urged doctors across the continent to show their support by wearing a red armband in a symbolic statement of solidarity from Monday. 

He called for the arrest of the person who injured Attellah during a peaceful protest. 

Mwachi said Attellah was gravely injured during what he termed a despicable act of violence while leading a peaceful procession to the Treasury.

Mwachi said the incident has evoked profound sorrow and outrage among medics. 

“The KMPDU denounces this act of aggression and calls for an immediate and thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators and their collaborators to justice,” Mwachi said. 

He demanded the swift seizure and arrest of those responsible for the act, including the owner of the weapon used, without delay.

Mwachi said KMPDU strongly condemns any form of intimidation or violence used to suppress the freedom of expression and dissent. 

He said the purpose of the march from which Attellah sustained injuries was to demand the release of funds allocated for the deployment of interns and payment of post-graduate fees.

“During this peaceful demonstration, a cowardly and heinous act was carried out by forces that seek to stifle dissent and silence voices advocating for the well-being of our healthcare system,” he said. 

“This egregious act of violence is not only an attack on our Secretary General but an affront to all doctors across the country.”

Atellah was on Thursday hit by a teargas canister sustaining deep cuts in the forehead.

The incident happened during the protest in Nairobi.

Davji arrived at the Nairobi Hospital at around 2:15 pm through the Emergency unit.

Sources at the hospital said that Davji sustained a deep cut on the forehead.

“The cut is 3mm deep and the patient had blood stains on his clothes. He is currently being attended to because he is bleeding a lot,” the source said.

KMPDU said they had written to the Nairobi area regional police commander to provide security during the procession.

The doctors held the protest to push for the posting of medical interns.

The Ruto government will fret over this and hand it over to the useless Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) and that is the last time anybody will hear about the case. IPOA never ever conducts any investigations and produce any results because it is the perfect cover for police violence and brutality against Kenyans. It is a hoax and everyone knows that.

I can say one thing about head cracks like that I see on Dr. Attellah. His is in a very bad spot in the middle of the head and it is open. That is very dangerous. I had my head burst at Langata Police Station when they they threw me down one floor as a student leader after the 1982 coup attempt. It was in the front of the head and that is better with a bad scar because you don’t bleed too much.

For God’s sake let’s hope that police ballast did not touch Dr. Attellah’s skull. That is the worst part. We don’t even want to think of that now. Just hung in there.

Kenyans may remember the case where police shot and murdered youth accused of theft and they handcuffed the young men and then later killed them claiming they were fighting after the youth attacked them. The two youth were already in handcuffs and someone took a picture of that and when the cops realized they had been exposed they withdrew their DCI lies online. Kenyans were enraged and the government announced IPOA was investigating the matter and that is the last time anybody heard about that case.

The police officers who killed those young Kenyans grabbed the money they had stolen and maybe just handed a bit of that cash to IPOA officials and that brazen police murder was squashed and buried.

In the meantime our very busy CS for security, Kithure Kindiki CS is fighting bandits in Baringo, or maybe he is just taking pictures but can someone tell Kindiki to come fight the police bandits in Nairobi shooting doctors in the head in a peaceful demonstration for health workers.

As expected human rights groups are already asking IPOA to investigate the police violence on the KMPDU Secretary General Davji Bhimji Attellah. That is a waste of time because IPOA’s job is only to protect police brutality including murder of Kenyans by the thugs in uniform.

“ICJ strongly condemns the use of unlawful force by the National Police Service and expresses deep concern over the violation of the rights of freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association as enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution and International Human Rights Instruments,” ICJ Kenya chairman Protas Saende said in a statement Thursday.

“We extend our thoughts and prayers to Dr Devji  Attellah for a swift and full recovery.”

The idea of human rights groups in Kenya asking IPOA to investigate police brutality is an insult to Kenyans because even those making such calls know nothing will happen. There was a time after the 2002 defeat of the Moi dictatorship that Kenyan human rights organizations never asked police to investigate themselves using phony groups like IPOA because the Kenyan human groups investigated those crimes themselves.

We had a group like the Release Political Prisoners (RPP) led by my beloved comrade Njuguna Mutahi and they took no chances with police violence anywhere in the country. As soon as Kenyans were attacked by police officers RPP field workers would be there in person talking to witnesses getting all the details and within a few days RPP would have the whole report about the situation made public and put the police establishment in defense.

That is how you reduce police violence on citizens and not by asking for fake investigations by IPOA which is run by the police establishment.

Right now the Kenya Nation Commission on Human Rights should be having direct investigations about this outrageous act of violence and collecting all the information so as to provide a public assessment of the situation to Kenyans in a few days instead of calling for IPOA to do nothing about this serious matter.

What exactly is the KNCHR and other human rights groups in the country like Amnesty International doing about this or they are just going to hand it over to the IPOA to do nothing as they have done for the last ten years. Maybe that is the job of human rights groups in our country today.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission also condemned the incident and asked IPOA and Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to expedite investigations and prosecution of officers found culpable. 

“KHRC demands an end to this repressive and intolerant conduct of Kenya’s police force across regimes. The government must take all necessary steps to ensure that all Kenyans enjoy the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association,” KHRC said in a statement.

Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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