Ipoa says rogue cops to blame for rise in extra-judicial killings

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 00:00 | By
'Police service was better organised during August polls'- IPOA
Ipoa chairperson Anne Makori addresses the press yesterday on excesses by police officers. PHOTO/John Ochieng

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) has told the top National Police Service command to deal with rogue officers who it says are to blame for the rising cases of brutality and extra-judicial killings.

At the same time, the authority said it was increasingly becoming difficult to investigate complaints of abuse by police because  witnesses were being intimidated by those implicated.

The agency cited the case of a Pangani-based officer identified as Corporal Rashid Ahmed against whom many of his alleged victims were not wiling to record statements. 

Addressing the press yesterday, Ipoa chair Anne Makori expressed concern over increasing use of excessive force by police officers resulting in loss of lives and grievous bodily harm, adding that some of the victims of the police excesses were innocent minors, especially during public order management. 

“Ipoa has noted with a lot of concern that the misuse of firearms and use of excessive force continue to be the biggest challenge facing the National Police Service,” she said.

Makori said in the last one year, the authority received 3,237 complaints against the police, adding that out of that, 489 cases were recommended for further investigations while another 57 were forwarded to the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU).

Another 151 cases were taken over by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Between 2013 and 2019, the last reporting period, the authority received and processed 13,618 complaints and 1,518 consequent investigations were completed.

Ipoa also conducted 1,754 inspections of police premises and monitored 249 policing operations. 

The highest number of complaints was received from Nairobi region followed by Mombasa and Kisumu, respectively. Nakuru and Kakamega regions had the lowest reported cases, according to the report.

Some of the complaints include negligence of duty, death from police action, malicious prosecutions, threats to life, and enforced disappearances.

Ipoa has nine regional offices (Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Garissa, Nyeri, Meru, Kakamega and Nakuru).

Hold to account

Makori asked Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to rein in the rogue elements with the service whose mandate is to enforce the law and serve the public.

“As custodians of the rule of law in this country, the Inspector General, Deputy Inspector General, Generals, and the general National Police Service are expected to be the strongest advocate for respecting the Constitution and the law they have the responsibility of enforcing,” said Makori. 

Meanwhile, Ipoa has launched investigations into the deaths and serious injuries of civilians in demonstrations in Kasarani and Majengo, Nairobi, last week.

One of the victims is Destiny Mumo,10, a Class Four pupil  who was shot in the head as the police tried to quell demonstrations sparked off by the killing of a youth by an officer in the area. 

The other was a 17-year-old school leaver, Stephen Machirusi, who was shot dead in Kasarani during a residents’ protest over the poor state of roads in Mwiki area. A post-mortem was conducted on Tuesday and the cause of death found to be a gunshot wound.

Three police officers—Sergeant Leah Wangeshi, Inspector Joseph Njoroge and Chief Inspector Alison Kiambudi, the OCS Kasarani—were injured in ensuing chaos.

Makori vowed that the authority will not relent in discharging its mandate in holding to account officers who engage in abuses. 

“All allegations of use of force, use of firearms and any other misconduct against the officers will be investigated without favour,” she said.

The chairperson said, for instance, the probe into the murder of former Leeds University student Carlton Maina, who was shot dead by a police officer in Kibera, Nairobi, on December 22, 2018, has been concluded and the suspect will soon be arraigned for murder.

 Officers have also been accused of killing their colleagues, and cited the killing of at least three officers, including the case of Inspector Benson Indeje of Riruta Police Station, which is being investigated.

Other cases Ipoa is probing, include that of the killing of  Ahmed Majid on January 16 in Nairobi’s Majengo area.

Preliminary investigations revealed the deceased was shot after he inquired from police officers why they had arrested his friend.

Another case under investigations is the use of excessive force against Jkuat students on November 11.

The authority has also recommended murder charges be preferred against two APs who on September 15 arrested Emmanuel Mumo Mutuku, in Yatta Machakos.

He was the following day found tortured by the public in a shamba behind the post. He succumbed to the injuries three days later.

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