Two police officers have been arrested in connection to an infant’s death in Kasarani, Nairobi County.
The officers based at Maziwa Police Post are accused of shooting the two-and-a-half-year-old boy at Soweto slum in Kahawa West on Sunday evening.
Baby Dancan Gethenji was pronounced dead on arrival at Kiambu Level 5 Hospital where he had been rushed by his relatives shortly after the incident that occurred at around 7.00 pm.
It is not clear the circumstances under which one of the officers’ triggered the bullet which killed the child.
Residents who spoke to the Star in condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation blamed the incident on the police.
They accused the officers of terrorising the locals while demanding bribes from chang’aa brewers in the slum.
“We are tired of the officers from Maziwa police post, the innocent child was shot by the officers who had disagreed by some of the women who trade in illicit liquor in the slum,” the resident said.
Some of the locals who claimed to have witnessed the child’s murder said two of the women disagreed with the officers who were were headed to the police post on foot.
“There was a confrontation between the two women and the armed officers. The women had been following the officers in protests after their illicit brew was poured. It was at this point that the officers shot several bullets in the air..one hit a nearby wall, one hit the boy, while another narrowly missed one of the residents,” claimed a second resident.
They said there are cartels that control the illicit business in the area but are untouchable.
There were also claims that the women had disagreed with the officers after they failed to give bribes for their illicit businesses, hence confiscation of their liquor.
The two officers were arrested after the locals staged a demonstration that lasted for the better part of Sunday night demanding their arrests.
The child’s father David Njuguna demanded justice over his second-born child’s brutal murder.
Addressing the press at Kasarani police station on Monday, Njuguna said that the police officers must take responsibility for their acts.
“I was away at work when the incident occurred. My wife Margaret Muthoni called me on the phone with information that police had shot dead our son, human rights organisations should intervene into the matter,” he added.
The officers were locked up at Kasarani police station.
Nairobi regional police commander Phillip Ndolo confirmed that the two had been arrested in connection with the child’s shooting.
He, however, dismissed the claims that the officers had been collecting bribes from chang’aa dens on Sunday evening.
Ndolo said that the officers had been on an official assignment following a lead on a case that had been reported at the station earlier before the incident occurred.
He, however, declined to disclose more information on the assignment stating that the matter was being investigated by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
“I cannot tell you which assignment the officers were on. The matter is under active investigations by DCI officers and revealing such might compromise the probe,” Ndolo told the Star on phone.
The deceased child’s mother spent the better part of Monday evening recording her statement with the detectives at Kasarani police station.
She was, however, unable to speak to the press.