Kenyan police have launched an internal investigation after graphic video footage of riot police beating and kicking an apparently unconscious man on the sidelines of an election protest caused outrage. In the latest of several protests by opposition activists who say their leader will be denied a fair chance at next year’s election, police fired teargas and beat demonstrators with truncheons on Monday to stop them storming the offices of the electoral commission in Nairobi. The footage appeared to show officers chasing a man in a green T-shirt as he fled a building near the commission’s headquarters. After he stumbled to the ground, they laid into him with truncheons and boots. One officer, apparently oblivious to journalists recording the violence, attacked with such force that part of his body armour fell off. After a few seconds, the police were shown sprinting away, leaving the young man limp and motionless on the ground.
Joseph Boinnet, the inspector general of police, said: “I condemn the lawlessness visited on the public by rioters yesterday and an internal inquiry is under way to determine whether any police officer broke any law while quelling the riots.”.
The victim, who survived the attack, was later named as Boniface Mosoti, a passerby from a satellite town who had only become caught up in the day’s turmoil because he had come to the central business district for a job interview.
Mosoti told the Daily Nation he had not attended the protests, but had run into trouble while he was heading to the bus terminal for his journey home. “Several police officers beat me up with batons and left me there. I was helpless,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.