NTV journalist Peter Wainaina who was beaten up by an angry police officer while in the line of duty in Mombasa has broken his silence.
Speaking to the Nation on Friday, March 27, the journalist informed that he had done nothing that was against the law to warrant such a beating from the police officer.
“I was actually doing my work and it caught me by surprise in the brutality this policeman netted on me. I did not provoke him, and it was uncalled for,” he stated.
The cameraman was covering protests by residents in the coast region, who were engaging in running battles with police officers who were harassing them way before curfew hours, after which a police officer turned his wrath on him.
In the video, the police officer was seen following the journalist who was hurrying away from the riots, his equipment in hand.
The journalist tried to argue with the police officer that it was not yet time for the people to get off the streets since the timeline was yet to elapse for a curfew intended to start on Friday evening.
The officer, however, would have none of it as he urged him off the street while hitting him on the head with a broken stick, evidently flustered.
"You are like a brother to me and that is why I am going slow on you here. These guys [Mombasa residents] are stoning us here, and you are telling me that it is not yet six?" the police officer posed before losing his cool.
He hit the journalist on the head with the stick harder and kicked him away telling him to get off the streets.
The incident attracted the attention of the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG), Kenya Union of Journalist (KUJ) who demanded appropriate action to be taken against the rogue police officer.
Coast regional police boss Rashid Yakub apologised for the incident terming it unfortunate, and uncalled for.
“Please advise the journalist to record a statement at the Central police station in Mombasa, get an Occurrence Book (OB) number so that we can take appropriate action against this officer. We do not condone such incidents, and his actions have no place in the force,” Yakub was quoted.
The incident comes despite instructions from the government that journalists and media personalities are some of the essential people allowed to be outdoors even when the curfew is in effect.
A nationwide curfew is in place between 7.00 p.m. and 5.00 a.m every day as one of the measures to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
NTV Camera person assaulted by a police officer in Mombasa. pic.twitter.com/CWZQKcp3w7— NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya) March 27, 2020