Kenya Red Cross denies supplying body bags to Kisumu


The Kenya Red Cross has vehemently denied media reports that they supplied body bags among other first aid kits to Kisumu County government.

According to the Standard Newspapers, the body bags were donated as part of first aid kits and medical equipment.

However, the Nyanza regional coordinator, Mr Wilson Njenga confirmed that the county received them.

He however denied that there was any sinister motive behind it saying it was a coincidence that the body bags were included adding they were supplied as part of part of the several First Aid and Emergency preparedness equipment donated to the police ahead of the elections.

“We received many items including stretchers, medicine, gloves, among others. There was no ill motive in the body bags,” said Mr  Njenga.

“We will use these kits including the body bags in cases of emergency or accidents or casualties arising from the election,” he said.

The bags received by Nyanza Regional Commander Joseph Chepkeitany on Friday were part of sanitary material donated to police by an NGO called Malteser International.

The donation also had 14,000 pair of gloves, 14 first aid kits, 1,400 litres of disinfectant and 14 rescue stretchers.

Kenyans on social media had pounced on the reports claiming that there was a plan by police to use force and taking lives during the elections.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) reacting to the reports asked the force not to engage in any acts that could lead to the loss of lives  during elections.

The police watchdog on Monday said it was concerned about reports that police have received body bags ahead of Tuesday poll.

“While the authority does not dispute that the police should be prepared for any eventuality, perception should not be created that they plan to take lives,” Ipoa chairman Macharia Njeru said in a statement.

He said the authority expects the police to conduct themselves with the highest level of professionalism.

“While enforcing the law, Schedule six of the National Police Service Act is very clear that Police officers must always attempt to use non-violent means first. If they must, force may only be employed when non-violent means have failed. Secondly, the force used must be proportional to the desired objective or the seriousness of the offence. And, if at all this happens, it must only be to the extent necessary and with strict adherence to the provision of the law and the Standing Orders,” read the statement.