Third Eye

Get to the bottom of police killings

Thursday, April 28th, 2022 00:26 | By
Pangani Police Station in Nairobi. PHOTO/File

Reports and statistics about police killing persons in custody or taking part in enforced disappearances are obnoxious. Year in, year out stories are filed of extra-judicial killings.

Families crying out for justice always seems elusive; children hope for their father or mother to return home but that is only a mirage.

Brothers and sisters praying that their kin is found alive often pray too long or doubt God’s response to their prayers simply because an officer got excited or was commissioned to kill.

How long is the Kenyan society going to tolerate this injustice? How long will the police be used to execute those perceived to be in the wrong?  In the latest report by a consortium of NGOs, Missing Voices, at least 219 civilians were killed by police in unexplained circumstances.

Pangani Police Station in Nairobi is so notorious that there are at least two suspect killings every month.

At least 161 people disappeared while in police hands. Some were rescued, others were found dead and many others are still reported missing. Reasons given for some of the killings are flimsy such as a suspect who was caught breaking the Covid-19 curfew and was killed in the process of arrest.

Some of the cases have been taken up for investigations and officers processed for criminal charges, coincidentally it is the same police who are involved in the probes and end up bungling the cases. It is time to put an end to this madness.

It is time to say life is too precious to be taken away in such a callous manner. The Independent Police Oversight Authority has for long been pushed to rein in the menace but the figures indicate it is not doing much to end the killings.

A sane society should abhor killing of any kind. We ask the authority to stem this abnormality. If someone is in the wrong there are processes of handling such a person.

Let the law take its course. Even when one is convicted to hang in the country such a person serves life as executions have been put on hold.

We ask the law enforcers not to be trigger happy. Any case of extrajudicial killing should be prosecuted to the end and justice served.

The organs dealing with the prosecution should be given enough powers and motivation to bring to an end killings by police.

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