By Andrew Wasike
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – Angry protesters on Monday set fire to a police station following the killing of a local businessman from the southwestern Kenyan town of Kisii this weekend.
The businessman, who was well-known at the Rioma market in Kisii town, was killed on Sunday by police who accused him of allegedly selling fake hand sanitizers and masks. Locals confirmed to media that a police officer shot the trader after an argument.
Over 100 angry people set fire to a section of the Rioma police station where the police officer was based, but the fire was later put out before it could spread.
Kisii County Police Commander Jebel Munene, who spoke to the locals on Monday in a bid to calm the crowds, confirmed that the officer had been arrested.
"The officer is in custody awaiting to be arraigned," he said.
Nyanza region Police boss Noah Mwivanda apologized to the locals for the incident, promising that the officer will be charged by various offenses.
"It is unfortunate what happened but we have taken action and arrested the accused officer," Mwivanda told reporters.
The latest death is similar to more than a dozen other police shootings where people were gunned down for failing to adhere to the country’s measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Last week, a cobbler was shot in Nandi county for failing to wear a mask, and violent demonstrations ensued, killing two people.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), the only authority that holds police accountable for crimes in Kenya, said in June it has received 87 complaints since the end of March, documenting 21 cases where people have been killed, and 6 Kenya police officers are set to be charged for the deaths.