Who Killed Rex Kanyeki Masai

Who Killed Rex Kanyeki Masai?

Rex Masai, a 29-year-old man was shot dead, on Thursday, as police clashed with the anti-Finance Bill protestors. The police were firing tear gas, live bullets, and water cannons at peaceful protesters as lawmakers were debating proposals. The protests, dubbed “Occupy Parliament”, started on Tuesday, and was a public anti-tax outcry forcing the government to amend and withdraw some of the proposals.

International human rights group, Amnesty International, condemned the excessive use of force by police to contain protesters, many of whom were unarmed.

Rex Kanyike Masai, who was among the protestors, died of gunshot wounds. A doctor from a Bliss Hospital, along Moi Avenue, where he was taken for treatment, told a local newspaper. “He was shot in the upper middle part of the thigh. It appears he bled to death before being brought to our facility,” a doctor told Nation.

The police department, through its oversight body, Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), visited the crime scene. This has launched investigations to ascertain the circumstances surrounding Masai’s death. On Friday, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) directed IPOA to submit a report on the shooting within 21 days. An aerial video captured the exact moment Rex was shot.

Boniface Mwangi, a photojournalist and international political activist, through his social media platforms, said Masai was only carrying a national ID and his phone. He was not armed.

According to eyewitnesses, a plain clothes cop in a cap, shot at a protestors group that was dancing to music from a club nearby, to disperse them. Rex was hit in the leg, fell on the spot, and was crying out for help.

Casualties From The Protests

A police officer’s arms were blown off after a tear gas canister exploded before he threw it. Victims, taken to hospital, suffered soft tissue injuries and inhalation of tear gas. 39 people were injured during the protests, 8 among them in critical condition, according to the Kenya Red Cross.

“I was informed that my son was shot around 7pm. He was in the company of his friends and was just from work. They decided to join the peaceful protest before going home and that was when everything turned worse,” he said.

Odhiambo described his son as calm, obedient, and non-violent. His social media platforms also proved the same. He didn’t have a lot of posts indicating his private nature.

Condemnations and Calls for Justice

Babu Owino joined the family of Maasai at City Mortuary and said he was pained to see parents in anguish following the tragedy.

“To die at the prime of one’s life, fighting for a future that has been brutally snatched away by the oppressor, is a terrible price to pay,” he said on X. He also gave KSh 200,000 contribution assist in funeral arrangements.

On Thursday, the IG of Police, Japhet Koome, maintained protesters won’t be allowed to access government infrastructure or disrupt parliament. proceedings, as calls for him to resign keep mounting.

Since becoming president in 2022, William Ruto has introduced several unpopular taxes, which critics and pundits say it stifle economic growth and lead to massive job cuts.