Kwale residents have claimed police harassment as security officers search for illegal firearms.
Police officers from Diani station have been carrying out search for firearms stolen from two officers who were killed at ACK church Ukunda a month ago.
But residents are now accusing police of using excessive force, by breaking into houses in the operation Rudisha Bunduki.
“We did not sleep yesterday night as we were beaten by police who stormed people’s houses and rummaged through with no respect to privacy, women and children,” said Faiza Wamalwa, a mother of three in Mwabungo area.
“They almost found me naked, they said they were searching for firearms but they did not have a warrant,” she said.
Salome Mweni, a student at a local college said she was assaulted by police and sustained arm injuries while going home from school.
“I was alighting from a tuk tuk when they started beating me, saying that I was drunk,” she said.
Protesting residents blocked the Likoni-Lunga Lunga road, causing heavy traffic jam yesterday.
“Twenty people were arrested yesterday night including school children who were later released,” said Wamalwa.
Kwale Woman’s Representative Zuleikha Hassan condemned the alleged brutality saying it will only build enmity between locals and police.
“Police have a duty to protect the people, although they are searching for firearms, the safety of the people is also important,” she said.
However, Kwale County Police Commander Kenneth Kimani has urged residents to remain calm promising to take immediate action on the allegations.
“I assure you that we will take action on the force used by our junior officers on residents but I also plead that you provide information to us on the whereabouts of the stolen guns. If anyone has any information about them, please share with us,” he said.