News

Man cries for justice after assault by county officials

Tuesday, June 4th, 2024 02:00 | By
Said Kalimbo Mwero a worker at Base Collection boutique in Mombasa CBD whose fingers were severed in an altercation with County officials, addressing the press at the scene. PHOTO/Reuben Mwambingu
Said Kalimbo Mwero a worker at Base Collection boutique in Mombasa CBD whose fingers were severed in an altercation with County officials, addressing the press at the scene. PHOTO/Reuben Mwambingu

Said Kalimbo Mwero left his home in Likoni, Mombasa, in his usual cheerful mood on the morning of May 14.

He was heading to his routine duty at Base Collection boutique along Meru Road in Mombasa CBD. But within hours, he found himself ensnared in a bitter altercation with county government officials, a confrontation that left him with severed two of his fingers and condemned him to a life of disability.

As Mwero went about his tasks at the boutique, the county government officials arrived at around 11:00 AM, demanding to see a valid license for the shop’s signboard.

 “We had delayed paying for the license, but we had already initiated the process,” Mwero explained.

Take responsibility

Despite his explanation, the officials insisted on taking someone into custody. “We are only employees,” he pleaded, suggesting they inform the shop owner.

He called his boss and explained the situation.

The officers then proceeded to another nearby branch of the boutique where they started harassing the manager there, threatening to arrest her.

 Upon seeing the commotion, Mwero followed them, ready to take responsibility. “I volunteered to be arrested after informing my boss. But shortly after, my boss arrived, releasing me to return to work before he joined the officers in their lorry,” he said.

But as Mwero headed back to the shop, the officers tracked him down, attempting to force him into their truck.

Despite protests from onlookers questioning the officers’ motives—especially since his boss had agreed to accompany them—the scuffle continued.

Hardware shop

Amid the chaos, Mwero was shoved against the wall of a neighboring computer hardware shop, and in a flash, his two fingers lay on the ground, blood gushing from his hand.

“I was shocked to see my fingers on the ground,” Mwero recounted. A worker from the hardware shop immediately held his hand aloft, showing the officers the damage. CCTV footage captured the altercation before the officers fled.

 The motive behind the attack remains unclear. Mwero knew the officers; some were even his regular customers. “One officer has been a regular customer, and I’ve personally sold him clothes from this shop. I can’t fathom any grudge that would justify this attack,” he lamented, grappling with the loss of his fingers and the reality of his new disability.

The incident was reported to the central police station, and investigations are underway.

Mombasa County Police Commander Stephen Matu acknowledged the incident, stating that detectives are awaiting Mwero’s recovery to fully investigate and uncover the truth.

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