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“I have lost both my nephew and my son to police violence.”

“My nephew was a suspect in the Machakos County bus bombing, and the day he was arrested he was shot five times by police. When I reached the scene in Majengo, I asked the police why they killed him? They never responded. The police removed a toy gun and a panga from a nearby store and placed it on the dead body and let the body lay there for three hours. We were not allowed to pick the body. People were taking pictures, and I stood there in absolute shock. It took three days to get the body from the mortuary. The incident left me hurt and I hated the police for their cruelty. He was a boy I took care of. He shares the same name as my son. He was 15 years old, in Form One.

Another time, the police arrested my son. As they walked with him they were beating him and removing his clothes while handcuffed. I pleaded for them to stop. He was left naked. Hawkers from the nearby area shouted at the police to stop, as he was just a child. They threw clothes at the police, asking them to stop beating and to cover the small boy. The police fired five shots in the air to disperse the crowd, and the sixth shot was fired at my son. He died on the spot. I fainted and was taken to the hospital. The following day we managed to get the body released for burial. We wanted to take the matter to court, but I simply gave up. I was about to commit suicide, but luckily my husband helped me. I still feel like a distraught mother.

The Kumekucha group has helped me heal and overcome the traumas of my recent life, but the pain does creep in sometimes.”

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