Chaos has hit Malaba town since yesterday on Friday as residents protest the shooting of a 20-year-old student by police reinforcing Covid-19 rules.
The residents stormed Malaba Police Station, blocking the Malaba-Bungoma highway and lit a bonfire on the road to express their displeasure over the killing of the form two student.
Ezekiel Odera from Kolanya Boys Secondary School succumbed to gunshot hurts after being shot by police on patrol in Malaba town and was pronounced dead at Kocholia sub-county hospital where he had been taken by his friends after the event.
It is reported that the student was in a crowd that had resisted arrest at Malaba town leading to a struggle with the police which aroused the latter to fire bullets at the crowd hence killing the student.
“He had just arrived in town as locals tried to stop police from arresting people who had no mask, the chaos started and police aimed at the crowd and unfortunately the bullet killed my brother,” said Moses Okiru, the brother of the deceased.
Odera’s mother Magret Okiru blamed the police of using extreme force to reinforce the Covid-19 protocols adding that she would have paid a penalty had her humble and hardworking son been taken to court instead of being shot.
“Police who killed my son should tell me why he did so,” said Magret.
“My son died a bitter death, he did not deserve to die that way, we hope the investigation will be done and the culprit arraigned for justice to be served,” he said.
Before his death, Odera could be found washing motorbikes and vehicles near a roadblock in Malaba town according to his family. He would also ensure that his family had something to eat.
Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua criticised the incident and called for a quick investigation as a way of ensuring justice to the family.
Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong confirmed the incident and even admitted to having received harassment complaints by from residents by police officers.
“The officer who fired the bullet has been arrested and already in custody and investigation has been commenced.” Said the governor.
He pledged to take necessary action even as he meets persons in charge of security in the county including County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri and County Police Commander John Nyoike to seek better ways of enforcing regulations without harassing the locals.
Governor Sospeter called on the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) to investigate the matter. He also accused the police of using the mask issue as an extortion racket by arresting and forcing people to pay a bribe in order to be released.
“What happened in Malaba is regrettable. Police should embrace the culture of telling people to wear masks not to harass and arrest them so that they give out money and later released,” said Ojaamong.