Media should give police credit for supplying water

Police officers patrol Haile Selassie Avenue in Nairobi

Police officers patrol Haile Selassie Avenue in Nairobi on March 20, 2023, during the anti-government protests called by opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

The Hustler government wishes to acknowledge receipt of numerous reports from members of the public about police officers joining the weekly demonstrations without uniform and professional attire; for fear of being identified by their bosses and getting dismissed from the service.

We would like to appreciate the sincerity of police officers who feel their work environment is not conducive for picketing against the high cost of living and poor working conditions; and have decided to take advantage of the street protests to air their grievances to the Government.

On behalf of all hustlers who voted for this government, we would like to assure all police officers that the government will protect their right to protest against poor working conditions, unfavourable terms of service, and discrimination in the allocation of the new police uniforms.

We wish to also assure all rioting police officers that the Government will defend them whenever they break into cars, suffocate occupants with killer teargas, and shoot live bullets in the direction of journalists.

Since the demonstrations began two weeks ago, we have witnessed a considerable number of police officers working under immense pressure from their bosses, taking conflicting orders from multiple command structures, while poorly equipped to handle the demands of their jobs.

Instead of helping alleviate their suffering, journalists have taken advantage of this to take photos of police officers breaking into personal cars to help themselves with expensive laptops and high-vision cameras so they can go sell in the black market to raise rent and take their children to school.

The Hustler government believes the media are spoilt for choices when it comes to looking for things to take photos of; drought-stricken livestock, free-flowing sewage, fun-loving bandits, and parents stealing CBC homework.

We would like to encourage members of the public to keep sending us pictures of police officers who have been serving the public during demos. Many Kenyans only see teargas on their smartphones, so when a police officer sacrifices his life to place himself on the line of sniper fire to go rescue journalists trapped inside smoking cars full of choking teargas, that officer deserves a promotion.

We hope those Kenyans who have been saying that the police only know how to bend down to pick up fifty shillings dropped on the tarmac, have also seen that our officers can also bend while firing a hail of bullets at windshields without missing.

Free showering water

We wish to remind the media that this is a war they will not win because the Kenyan public are firmly behind the National Police Service in protecting the right of police officers to drive around in water cannons dishing out water to slum dwellers who have been let down by the Ministry of Water in the provision of free showering water.

The government has a Vision 2030 dream of providing clean water to all households in informal settlements, and the police have done their best, under strenuous circumstances, to access every household in the slums to help the government achieve this dream the media should also highlight this.

We wish to sincerely thank Mr Raila Odinga for giving Kenyans two days off duty so they can be available at home to welcome the police distributing free showering water.

While we recognise that the few available water cannons do not come with a ladder to climb the stairs of high-rise buildings and serve water in each household, we are hoping that the public will be patient with us as we seek for directions from State House on which targeted areas our water cannons should give first priority.

The National Police Service seeks to live up to their motto of ‘Service to All’. In six months’ time, all households in Nairobi would have been washed by our water cannons, which is historic.