Time to Focus on Victims of Ruto Atrocities and ICC

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The Azimio la Umoja coalition has suspended protests that had been scheduled for Wednesday, July 26.

The coalition, in a statement, said Wednesday would be marked by holding a vigil for victims who lost their lives during the anti-government protests that started in March.

Amnesty International, a non-governmental organisation, has condemned the use of unlawful force against protestors saying at least 30 people have been killed by police since March 2023 when the protests started.

“We are calling on Kenyans to come out, light candles and lay flowers, preferably white, in remembrance of and respect for the victims.

“On that day, we will also roll out the process of reaching out to the families of the victims with a view to offering any assistance that can lessen their burden. During the vigils, candle lighting and laying of flowers, we encourage Kenyans to say prayers and read out the names of victims,” said Azimio la Umoja in a statement.

The coalition has promised to provide a list of the victims before Wednesday. According to them, the number of those who have lost their lives is at 50.

“Many hospitals have been instructed not to disclose the number of casualties or deaths or even admit victims of police brutality. Many are therefore nursing their injuries at home while others have had their death go unrecorded.” 

The opposition is holding protests to repeal a finance law imposing new taxes, and lower the cost of living among other demands.

This is an ICC case and the evidence is overwhelming. That is where the struggle for a free Kenya needs to go this week and Azimio are focusing on the right things. Let Kenyans pay tribute to the victims and families of those Kenyans being killed and maimed by the Ruto Regime.

Millions of Kenyans want to contribute financial support to these families. Can we have an independent Family Support Group for the families of the victims? Let’s put some money there to support those families. Yes, we are there for you, we will tell them.

Phase one is to have real support for the families. That is already underway and it is good.

Phase two is to have full documentation of all cases with names, medical records, witnesses, and everything that happened. That is heading to the ICC.

Third issue here is for all these families to file cases in the Kenyan courts for compensation. I know that because I filed a case against the Kenyan government for torture, jail, and detention. I won that case in 2014 and was awarded Sh. 5 million.

For some of these abuses, we are looking at hundreds of millions because of the magnitude of the crimes committed against them by the Ruto regime.

Imagine that 19-year-old young man with 8 bullets in his chest. And another young man with no legs. That is Ruto violence for you. It has to go to court in Kenya and at The Hague. Forget the nonsense about IPOA whose primary job is to protect police abuse against Kenyans.

It is annoying to hear human rights groups like KNCHR calling on IPOA to do something about police violence. What has IPOA ever done about police abuse of human rights? It is time to go to the next level to protect human rights and dignity in Kenya.

KNCHR should be doing their own investigations like they did in 2007/8 massacres instead of begging the government controlled IPOA to do investigations. But they are not going to do that. They are in Ruto’s pocket. Stay there and Kenyans will do the work you are being paid to do and can never do. When Maina Kiai was there we had a real KNCHR. Today it is dead. That is fine and Kenyans will bury them.

Azimio To Buy Flowers And Candles, Launch Funds Drive For Victims Of Police Brutality
Azimio to buy flowers and candles, launch funds drive for victims of police brutality

The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance says it will acquire flowers and candles that will be used in the planned vigil on Wednesday to commemorate the lives lost during the anti-government demonstrations.

This comes after Azimio on Monday suspended the protests slated to take place across the country on Wednesday this week.

“That in demonstration of love for the victims and solidarity with their families and the cause they died for, we volunteer and acquire candles and flowers by end of day today in readiness for the vigil and solidarity planned for tomorrow morning, Wednesday, July 26, 2023,” said Azimio in a statement to newsrooms on Tuesday.

In Nairobi specifically, Azimio added that leaders allied to the outfit will lead participants in launching a benevolent fund for the affected persons and their kin.

“That here in Nairobi, leaders from the various pillars of society will gather at the designated location already communicated to say prayers, lay wreaths, light candles and launch a benevolence fund to aid victims and their families,” said Azimio. 

The opposition coalition added that persons intending to converge for the vigils should convene at locations including; hospitals, parks, bus stages, churches, markets, shopping centers, social halls, county assemblies and county headquarters, from 6 am.

“That leaders from the various formations of our society including political parties, church and faith organizations, civil society, Community-Based Organizations, youth and women groups, the academia and Labour movement, among others, take lead and guide citizens in these sombre and solemn acts of remembrance, solidarity and love,” said Azimio.

The Raila Odinga-led faction added that upon lighting the candles and laying the wreaths, those in attendance should sing the Nation Anthem and say prayers for those who died or were injured during the demos.

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

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