This paper seeks to explore the topographies of abandonment and pandemic policing in Kenya’s urban-informal settlements. Through a connection of spatial territories1, I explore the continuation of the colonial era divide and rule tactics to govern what seems as Kenya’s fragmented regions through the duration of the government COVID-19 combatting mechanisms. Through ethnographic research, this paper tries to connect the struggles of Kenya’s poor urban populations secluded in ‘slum areas’ on their daily quest for survival by engaging in a fight against a pandemic and state violence. Notwithstanding the daily denials of basic needs and priorities by both government and potential de facto urban management.
Missing Voices is a coalition of 15 Civil Society Organizations that aim to end extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Kenya. Since its inception in August 2018, Missing Voices has documented and verified data on police killings and enforced disappearances (EDs) and held several campaigns to disseminate our research while pushing the general public to report incidents of police misconduct. These activities are done in partnership with stakeholders with the mission to get justice for victims and survivors and promote police accountability.
Kenya has a long history of police use of excessive force during law enforcement operations, either in informal settlements or in response to demonstrations, often resulting in unnecessary deaths. Several deaths from police violence were reported in 2020 during the first days of Kenya's dawn to dusk curfew imposed on March 27,2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19.