Friday, January 21, 2011
SIASA DUNI EXCLUSIVE: "Lie down so we can finish you": The moment 'plain-clothes policeman' shot men at point blank range on Lang'ata Road
This is the moment an alleged plain-clothes policeman executed a man by shooting him in the head at point-blank range in the street in front of dozens of terrified motorists.
Two others were also shot dead after claims that they were ordered out of their car and forced to lie on the ground on a busy road in Nairobi.
The victims were seen lying on the ground in pools of blood following the 9am shooting, which took place near Wilson Airport, a domestic hub for domestic flights to safari locations. Three police officers have been suspended pending investigation after these horrific photographs, taken by a passing motorist, were published in a national newspaper.
Witnesses who watched the execution take place say they heard one of the officers shout: ‘Lie down so we can finish you.’ The other officers then allegedly opened fire at the men at point-blank range. An observer lost count of the shots fired but said they were ‘sustained’. The detectives are then said to have sped off after uniformed officers arrived.
The witness who took these photographs told the Daily Nation: "I was driving to town and there were three vehicles ahead of me. Three men (police officers) jumped out of a four-wheel drive vehicle and aimed their guns at a station wagon in front of them," said the man, whose name we have withheld for his own safety. It was at this point that the witness, who does not want to be named, pulled out his camera and began taking pictures.
"The three men came out of the vehicle with their hands raised above their heads in surrender. They lay on the road as ordered by the police," he said, adding that was when the shooting began. Lang’ata police commander Augustine Kimantiri, who arrived moments after the incident on Wednesday, said officers who confronted the suspects were responding to a ‘tip off’. Mr Kimantiri told the Daily Nation: "CID officers had challenged a gang of six suspicious men to stop, but instead they drew arms and fired at the officers, and a shootout ensued."
He said that the three were gunned down as they ran away while their accomplices escaped. "Our officers are looking for them in the Kibera slums. We recovered an American pistol and two rounds," Mr Kimantiri added. He claimed the victims had not been in a vehicle, which contradicts the claims of the witnesses. The car referred to by the observers was not at the scene when journalists arrived 30 minutes later.
Kenya Police was criticised in a 2009 UN report which said extrajudicial killings are ‘widespread, systematic and are carefully planned and undertaken on a regular basis.’ The British High Commission expressed its ‘deep and serious concern about the circumstances of the apparent extrajudicial executions’.