On a day the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption, Transparency International released a report that reveals that the level of corruption is still high in Kenya, the Kenyan Police came down heavily on 200 demonstrators who held a peaceful march to the Supreme Court and Parliament buildings where they petitioned those institutions to do more to fight corruption in the East African country.
As the protesters attempted to proceed to the State House, where President Uhuru Kenyatta lives, Police arrested 33 people who were later released with a warning, AP reports, citing a senior police official, Peter Katam. A photograph which showed a police officer trying to hit a female protester was also published by the news agency.
President Kenyatta who recently announced a national call to action against corruption and called it a threat to national security has often been criticized for not doing enough to fight the ill. According to Transparency International in its new survey, 70 percent of Kenyans say the government is doing badly in fighting corruption.
The report adds that 58 percent of Kenyans believe that ordinary people can make a difference. Apparently playing their part in making the difference, the protesters convened by activist Boniface Mwangi demanded the government to crack down on corruption but got more than they bargained.
Mwangi expressed surprise at the action of the police as he pointed out that the demonstration was peaceful and in line with government’s renewed stance against corruption. Now he thinks President Kenyatta is pretending to fight corruption.
As if corruption was not a common enemy, policemen were pictured teargassing protesters. Police was rated as the most corrupt institution in Africa in Transparency International’s new report.
“We have been arrested for telling President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop corruption. We were on the right side of history,” Mr Mwangi said via Twitter on Tuesday.
“If we get charged tomorrow for whatever, just know we broke no law. We were exercising Article 37 [of the constitution. All we want is to knock out corruption.”
— Ken Okoth, MP Kibra (@okothkenneth) December 2, 2015