Thursday, June 07, 2007

What the hell is going on in Mathare?

Yet again, Kenya's police bring shame and scorn on the country, with the mass shootings of more than thirty "suspected members of Mungiki" in the tight-knit slum community of Mathare Valley to the northeast of the city centre. Nairobi police have lost colleagues in recent days, savagely murdered by these protectionist racketeers. But now they have lost control: their response, as so often, is out of all proportion and has inevitably included individuals who were at most peripheral and at worst just unlucky bystanders.

Mungiki's violent coercion and ritualistic beheadings have caused widespread terror in some of the poorest communities in the Nairobi area: when the police wade in and outdo them, blood for blood, with no respect for human rights or the badges they wear, they lose all credibility.

Police commissioner Ali should call off his trigger-happy rabble and conduct an immediate enquiry.

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