Police Brutality and Solidarity during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Mathare - HAL-SHS - Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société Access content directly
Scientific Blog Post Mambo ! Year : 2020

Police Brutality and Solidarity during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Mathare

Patrick Mutahi
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This paper analyses how state responses to the covid-19 pandemic shaped security and policing of residents living in Mathare informal settlements. Relatedly, it focuses on how these residents, facing a repressive police force, mobilised and coordinated responses that protected lives and livelihoods. Once the first positive case of COVID-19 was reported in Kenya on March 13, 2020, the government instituted policy and legal order to address the pandemic. These orders, which included a night time curfew and cessation of movement in some Counties, nevertheless evolved to be less of managing a health pandemic and more of a national security issue with the police and security agencies have an expanded role to enforce the public health directions. Based on interviews and observations, this paper establishes how residents of Mathare informal settlement protected themselves from police violence and the Covid-19 pandemic in an environment where service delivery by the State has historically been limited and the police often been more present in its violent nature. It argues that the covid-19 interventions intertwined with wider themes of inequality and police violence, impacting on the relationship between the state and its citizens who live in poverty and daily navigate insecurity and repressive security agencies.
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halshs-03078529 , version 1 (16-12-2020)


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Patrick Mutahi, Kate Jane Wanjiru. Police Brutality and Solidarity during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Mathare. 2020, https://mambo.hypotheses.org/2895. ⟨halshs-03078529⟩


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