Government defends officers spotted roughing up Boniface Mwangi
The National Police Service (NPS) has defended police officers who were spotted on a camera roughing up activist Boniface Mwangi.
A video has been making rounds on social media, and police officers, in full uniform and well-armed roughing up the activist.
According to NPS, Mwangi attempted to block police officers on official duty from arresting several defaulters at the Pension Towers on Friday, when the incident occurred.
Police officers in the video were performing their lawful assigned duties of assisting KRA officers to enforce Nairobi County Government/Nairobi Metropolitan Services revenue collection obligations as part of their lawful mandate as per the contract between the two statute bodies both with revenue collection mandates, said NPS.
“Notwithstanding that the exercise was conducted in broad daylight and in the open and with some defaulters already having been arrested by the enforcement team,” the NPS said on Saturday.
At the same time, the NPS denied claims that GSU officers assaulted the activist, who claimed to have sustained bruises and a broken phone as a result of the altercation.
It all started when Mwangi requested the officers to identify themselves – but NPS feel Mwangi’s request was not welcoming despite the officers showing up in full uniform.
Police are also investigating whether the activist defied the law and obstruction of law enforcement agents for the purposes of either facilitating the escape of arrested defaulters or intimidating the officers from carrying out their lawful duties.
“Towards the end of the scene of altercation, the subject activist can clearly be seen running away, falling on the floor all by himself, and kicking his legs in the air. He is surrounded by the officers who are trying to restrain or contain him,” the statement from the NPS adds
“The subject activist was not assaulted but instead caused an unnecessary drama by running away and felling himself on the floor only to cause a commotion that was meant to aid the escape of the arrested defaulters.,”
According to Mwangi, several young men who were accompanied by GSU officers walked into his barbershop on Friday and arrested the receptionist.
“We asked them to identify themselves, they said they were from KRA but they didn’t have IDs. We asked them to call someone who had an ID,” Mwangi Tweeted on Friday.
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“Because l recorded them, the GSU officers wanted to take my phone, I refused and in my attempt to ran away, I fell. They caught up with me, and beat me up. Even after the beating l didn’t hand over my phone.,”
Mwangi said he has since reported the matter to the Central Police Station and the IPOA.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) responded to the matter on social media, maintaining that all KRA staffers on duty must always provide identification before entering any business premises.
“Our attention has been drawn to the tweet below. Kindly note that all KRA staff on duty must always provide identification before entering your premises. Additionally, we urge the public to utilise the #Thibitisha KRA staff using our imposter detection system,” the Authority tweeted.