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Azimio sues police IG Koome over deaths witnessed during anti-government protests

Azimio files petition at the High Court to sue police IG Japhet Koome over deaths of more than 70 people during anti-government protests.

In response to the deaths of nearly 70 people during the anti-government rallies between March and June of this year, Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party has filed lawsuits against the Attorney General, the National Police Service, and the Inspector General of Police.

Azimio has petitioned the High Court to hold the IG and any commanders in charge of formations or units accountable for the actions of the officers under their supervision. 

The opposition group now wants individuals it believes were responsible for the murders and injuries held accountable after the protests resulted in the deaths of tens of people. 

Azimio claims it has shown 75 deaths were attributable to police force.

“We want the police to compensate all the people who died and their families,” Azimio lawyer Paul Mwangi said.

Azimio claims in the lawsuit that IG Japhet Koome and the police violated the provisions of Articles 26 and 50 of the Kenyan constitution by denying the 75 people who died their right to life without justification because they were killed while exercising their legal right to protest, demonstrate, and picket, which is protected by the nation’s laws.

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“We want the courts to declare that the IG and all the people who were in charge during the protests that they violated their duties of command responsibility be held liable for the deaths and violations,” read the statement.

Azimio also states that Koome violated both international and national laws, by failing to ensure that the officers under his command exercised restraint, and maintained high standards of professionalism and discipline.

The opposition further states that the National Police Service stands accused of corruption, failure to promote transparency and accountability by failing to hold officers liable for the deaths accountable.

“Once the courts declare that there is command responsibility and liability then we will go to the other laws that proved for punishment whether they be criminal or civil that apply,” Lawyer Mwangi added.

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