Friday, February 20, 2009

This is how we treat our mothers in Kenya (Part 2)

She was crying for them:


Anonymous said...

This is an outrage! It makes me sick! And whats more is that the government is spending 5 million on prayers when that money can be used to save the lives of countless starving Kenyans. I don't disagree with remembering the victims of the fire tragedies and having prayers, I hope they rest in peace but it makes no sense to me to spend so much when the rest of Kenya are in dire straights. GoK, how about investing the adequate time and resources to mitigate such tragic occurrences (a disciplined police force) then splurging money after the event occurs as if to say we do care greatly.


18 Feb. is the day Dedan Kimathi was captured…that wasn’t in my mind as I woke up early that day of 2009. But one thing was certain that the corrupt practices of some government officials had to be rebuked at such a time when one of them was facing a censure motion in parliarment.other human rights activists and I at the freedom corner are prepared for the day. To drive the point home. .we proceeded to the parliament buildings where the Kenyans’ most corrupt fellowship. We wanted to take the message right to their doors. So it was the best venue..Philo Ikonya and I moved ahead where the visitors’ gate is towards other human rights activists. Patrick Kamotho stayed with the other group at the mps’ gate with their placards reading the message we had brought to the members of the august house who are presiding over serious corrupt practices in their ministries. ‘ `where is the maize’…one placard read…, ‘Kenyans are dying’ another one read…’unga prices are unbearable’, ‘a thief is a thief. Whether PNU or ODM’ .another one read….then Philo lashed another that summarizes all from her handbag.. .’CORRUPTION=DEATH’…that summarized everything. Our expression was symbolic and peaceful. As we moved around the parliament buildings…policemen started focusing on us. Some hired goons from Ruto’s constituency confronted Philo and started asking her whether the maize that was stolen was ours. We all flashed the newspaper images of dying Kenyans but the goons would not listen…but all other Kenyans who were passing by kept on encouraging us.
At about one oclock, one of the human rights activists who were with Patrick Kamotho comes and tells us that Kamotho had been arrested as the rest of his group scampered. He had insisted that the corrupt leaders must have an opportunity to get his message. They took him to parliament police post.
After the disruption of the majority of the protesters, we proceeded demanding the release of kamotho, and later we discovered that the police had put much focus on the two of us. So they confronted us…the guys arrested us so violently. That one senior cop whom I later came to know is called mugwai, tore Philo’s dress and dragged her on the ground..Philo couldn’t keep quiet. Neither could I. the senior cop moved to Philo and whispered to her that he knew her and wouldn’t want to arrest her…the cop snatched my placard which read. “CORRUPTION=DEATH”..and held it high unconsciously…he ordered his junior to arrest me. I continued shouting “A THIEF IS a THEIEF AND KENYANS ARE DYING OF HUNGER BECAUSE OF BAD LEADERSHIP”…the senior cop whispered to me asking me to be calm and stop embarrassing him to his seniors before the media.but this couldn’t be the case because on the other hand it was important for me to relay my message. While Philo was telling the two cops to leave me alone, the guy tried to bundle me into the police car boot but it failed to open. so he put me on the passenger seat…went back to where Philo was as she continued making anti corruption chants. The senior cop manhandled Philo and tore her dress.
They push her next to me in the police car and the senior cop sits on the co-drivers seat. His juniors seem to really fear him. He aint a human being. If you ever heard of Dracula. The guy starts punching us. Saying that now there are no cameras…that we are going to tell. He punches Philos face. When I ask him to behave like a human being he turns to me punches me then as Philo tells him to stop beating me he punches her in the jaws and face. They drive us from parliament road between city hall and kicc.the guy is a brute. he continues beating us as we move past Kimathi’s statue towards central police…and Philo continues telling him to see God in her eyes. The guy looks confused by Philo’s words. When he is unable to answer her questions he starts beating us again. Targeting Philo’s face and my stomach. He tried to reach for my private parts. He had an intention of sexually molesting me. But the way I was dressed under made it impossible for him to accomplish his inhuman mission.i was well prepared for the day. He tells the junior cop to destroy our phones so that we stop calling other leaders of the civil society. we had called quite a number by then. When we got to central police station the same senior cop hits me in the face.
I didn’t know where he was taking me to. I thought he was taking me to record a statement. That was not the case. He frog marched me to his office upstairs and started hitting me hard everywhere with his rungu(rod) and kicks and slaps. asking me if I belonged to Bunge la mwananchi…and who the lady I was arrested with (Philo) is. Asking me whether am associated with Mwalimu Mati, asking what I do, asking me what Philo does. I tell him he would not wish someone to do what he is doing to me to his son. he becomes more violent and claims that I embarrassed him before the media by shouting that corruption is killing Kenyans even when he had ordered me to keep quiet. I told him that is the only way my message could be relayed to those whom I was accusing of having failed in leadership. The guy becomes more stupidly angry…he then starts slapping my face without stopping…he hit my knees with his rungu..and the more I complained the more he beat me…then ordered me to get out with him .as we moved downstairs he warned that I shouldn’t tell anyone what happened to me…but this is a story I have to tell the whole world…that there are some cops who want to make one imagine preferring being in Zimbabwe than in Kenya.
When I come down I find Philo down at the OB desk. She was shoeless. She told the rogue cop that since had had decided to be the arresting officer, the prosecutor and the jury, he should let us go. But the rogue cop orders his juniors to trump up charges against us. Illegal assembly charges them with that…he says. The juniors obey the orders …the bad cop leaves. They take my belongings and her belongings too and book us into police custody. Inside the cells we get there many people arrested on flimsy grounds. With the police’ intention to get some bribe. Philo gets to discuss so many issues with all the ladies in there. Among them an eight month pregnant lady arrested together with her mother. She tells Philo that she had been brutalized by the police beaten up and she feels dizzy. the female policemen had even threatened to put hot pepper in her private parts in the disguise of wanting information from her(the expectant 30 year old lady)
The police work in cahoots with some hardcore criminals who behave like cell prefects. they frisk all people who come in the cells and collect”tax”for the police from within cells.
At about 4pm Philo and I are called from the cells. It was our lawyer. counsel Elisha Ongoya.we had a chat and he left to make necessary arrangements for our court appearance just incase they decided to take us to court.By evening civil society leaders and pen international leaders were all at the central police and the number was swelling each and every minute. I see Abel onkundi,Kelly musyoka,wangui mbatia,stephen musau,I see Mwalimu Mati,Oulu GPO,Cyprian Nyamwamu,Ann Njogu,George Nyongesa,Jane Mati,Kingwa Kamencu,Khainga Okwemba,Lydia..The number swells.mulielie,odipo,a…we all then come to notice that the same cop that had molested and brutalized us is the one who had sexually harassed Ann. Njogu when they protested against Kimunya and they were arrested together with George Nyongesa and Okiya Omtata and other civil society leaders.
They took our finger prints. Philo insisted that she didn’t want her finger prints to be taken by any policeman. Or woman given some police women had brutalized the expectant lady. Some policewomen eventually claimed that she had not been part of the group that had beaten the expectant lady. So she took Philo’s finger prints. We knew the die was cast. We were going to court. When the human rights people numbers continued to increase demanding our release, the police device a new method of dispersing them. They lead us upstairs as they tell the rest of our people including the lawyers to stay back. When we get to second floor, they take us downstairs again. Just Philo and I OTHER INMATES had been left in the cells. There in the backdoor they take us to a waiting police van. They were taking us to unknown place. they drove the police van which carried Philo,five policemen and I. they started talking the violent language of their boss, telling us to stop fighting the for human rights, Saying that we can never change the government. that is how it works…then we started a conversation…they softened as they continued driving us from Harry Thuku road,kijabe street, globe cinema round about,ngara,towards forest road. we weren’t certain whether they were taking us to karura,or parklands police station, or what?....but while still on the way to they told us that they have to do what they are instructed to do in order to feed their families and keep their jobs. We challenge them on brutality and they discount that every human being is different. Some police man starts some silly talks .that makes Philo to drown the stupid talk with song-religious tunes..Ave Maria. and others. Eventually they get us to Gigiri police station.
It’s at about 1200 midnight .We are lead to a dark cell. We protest. Philo refuses to go to the female people’s cell. There is no one else there and it was dark. They open a cell for males for me to enter. I remain the corridor because I want to keep watch on Philo…so we keep on talking with Philo as I stand in the male cell corridor and her on the other side on the corridor of the female cell…we talk about power to the people…the cops switch lights on for a while…but after a few minutes the lights go off again and we suddenly are in total darkness. but these cops are insisting that I go to sleep. That I stop watching on Philo.that I leave Philo with them. I refuse but eventually when they open for Philo to go to a place with some light I go to one of the cell rooms and sleep for like 30 minutes. Then I hear a voice..Philo says there are some developments. That Ann Njogu and Florence Jaoko have come and obtained a bond for her. So I was to remain alone.Philo wants to remain in the cells in solidarity with me but the police say its illegal and she has to leave. So Philo leaves together with Jaoko and Ann .I go to sleep. I haven’t eaten since morning so I request the cop on duty to get me some tea. Because even at central the cops had refused to let us get the food other members of the civil society had brought us. We had refused the inmates food at central police because we took the threats by the senior cop whom I later came to identify as Mr. Mugwai very serious. in addition to that, the food was seriously rationed. Cabbage and boiled maize (githeri/nyoyo-so we thought it wise too to leave it to other inmates.)(REMEMBER THE LOST MAIZE)
After the departure of Philo from Gigiri, the central police OCS comes with some other police officers to pick me together with a contingent of five policemen. I thought they were transferring me to another police station or wherever. But the drive all the way back to the central police station. On the way I remember the trials of Paul the apostle of Jesus when he was moved from place to place as the authorities tried to intimidate him from spreading the gospel. When we get to central police I get Kamotho there with the inmates and we sleep on the floor with a lot of lice, mosquitoes and cockroaches in all police stations we were denied an opportunity to report Mugwai’s violence on us and the threats he made against me...The following day…19th feb, 2009..we are taken to the court early in the morning. There we are joined by Philo and charged. But the question remains. THE MPS VOTED NO, WE WERE ARRESTED AND BRUTALIZED.MAIZE FLOUR IS EXPENSIVE EACH AND EVERYDAY, WHERE IS THE MAIZE? WHERE IS THE LEADERSHIP? CORRUPTION IS RAMPANT. Watch out……..change doesn’t come easily.
Fwamba nc Fwamba..
a.k.a Crispus Fwamba


Early in the morning at 6 am of19th Feb. 2009, Patrick Kamotho and I leave the central police cells. There seems to be no ready police van to take us to the Nairobi high court. We are scheduled to appear before the judge on duty Gilbert Mutembei in court one. at the central police doorway. The cop who is supposed to take us escorts us into a waiting matatu psv whose passengers had been arrested for failing to buckle their seat belts. So Kamotho and I enter the vehicle with its diver and conductor. They drop us at the main entrance of the Nairobi law courts. This cop seems to be kind of civilized. He hands us over to some two policemen who seem to have a lot of ‘advice’ for us…but we don’t let them we advice them instead..Tell them on how they have a responsibility to help make our country better. but they seem to be so self righteous convincing us that we should just give up about the war on corruption because we cant win. That we are only but wasting our time and unnecessarily endangering our lives. Even insinuating that it will be hard for us to get any government jobs. We challenge them but later they decide to push us into the basement police cells of the high court. There we again meet people of different characters with varying case. But we still push our anti-corruption crusade and for them they wholeheartedly get sense in what we say. at about 8.50am..we are lead to the dock awaiting the judge…who then enters and starts with our case,Philo Ikonya’s name is called and she joins us in the dock, my name is called, Patrick kamotho’s and our charges are read.mbugua mureithi pleads for a bond of 10000 per person which the judge consents our lawyer Mr.Ongoya had sent a representative but at least mbugua mureithi intervened to ask for a lesser bail and request for p3 forms because all police stations had denied as opportunity to report the police bully who had assaulted us after arrest. as we are about to be returned to the basement cells,Philo breaks down…..its because of the compassion she has been having about the hunger victims and also the inhuman way the policeman had treated us…she later tells me. She is in a sack scarf with newspaper cuttings of Nang’ole an old woman from Turkana who had three weeks before informed a media house that she hadn’t eaten in days.Philo has always been wondering whether that lady is still alive.Nang’ole is the woman whose photo is juxtaposed with Ruto’s on one of the posters Dr.Khalwale had used to persuade the conscience of the members of parliament during Ruto’s censure the previous day. my joints are in pain following Mugwai’s assault. Philo is feeling a lot of pain too as we are lead together with Kamotho out of the dock back to the basement cells as we wait for the processing of the bond for the three of us. we stay there up to very late. At some point we are separated with Philo as she is led to the female cells.Kamotho and I join other men in men’s cells. Some awaiting bonds to be processed while others wait to be taken to remand. I try to keep on calling different people and also sending Philo short messages asking when we are going to be released. at some point Kelly Musyoka informs me that they were moving together with Gacheke and others to make sure that the bail is done faster. Then after a few minutes I get information that our bails had a hitch and the process had to be restarted….its moving towards 1pm.i have not eaten since. Ken Orengo wants to bring us food but cops won’t allow. At about 3.30the process is finished. many of other civil society leaders have already left….but I can see Sophie Dowler,Wangui Mbatia,Kelly musyoka,mulielie,gacheke,Odipo and ladies who work at NCEC,we move out…I need to see I doctor…too much pain following the beatings. So does Philo.
Kamotho, Philo, Gacheke and I board Alex Kilele’s car as we head to the Nairobi women’s hospital.kilele drops us there. Hilo talks to Ann Njogu and other comrades to make a number of arrangements. After the doctor examining us.he recommends philo and I to be admitted and be observed while Kamotho is treated as an outpatient. Despite feeling so bad I decline admission at that time (6pm) because of some family issues (responsibilies).am given drugs after which I leave the hospital in company of my friends jimmy nyikuli, ken Orengo and martin nkari.i leave philo admitted at the hospital. At night I cant sleep.. Am feeling pain everywhere. Therefore early in the morning I get back to the hospital and get admission (20th FEB) .i get to the x-ray room where I spend like 3 hours. Thereafter I go to my hospital bed. Am attended to by nurses. I have visits from wanyama, george Nyongesa, wangui Mbatia, abel onkundi, Dennis Ndira, martin nkari, ken orengo,reverend mbogo among other comrades. Philo gets discharged in the evening to have bed rest at home spent the night of 20th at the hospital. at this point I get all the medication, good attention from the doctor and the nurses.
In the evening of 21st the doctor still recommends that I need to stay in hospital but other duties await me. So am discharged in the evening of 21st Feb 2009 against the doctor’s advice because I need to work on family matters.Aluta continua. Am given an appointment by the doctor but generally am feeling better. We must work together to change this country for the better….That which doent kill me only makes me stronger…
a.k.a Crispus Fwamba