, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 29 – The Kenya National Commission on Human rights and other civil society organisations on Wednesday called for the immediate interdiction, investigation and holding to account of officers allegedly involved in the disappearance of a lawyer, his client and driver.
Led by IMLU’s Peter Kiama, the organisations are also calling on the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) to undertake an audit and investigate the Syokimau AP post where the three missing persons are said to have been detained before their disappearance.
“The three were abducted as they left the Mavoko Law Courts in Machakos County shortly before 12pm (on June 23).There is strong evidence indicating that Willie (Kimani) and his colleagues were unlawfully detained at the Syokimau AP Camp for a period of time on Thursday last week and were moved soon thereafter,” he said.
“This is the culmination of numerous blatant attempts to intimidate Josephat (Mwenda) to withdraw a complaint lodged with the Independent Police Oversight Authority against a senior Administration Police (AP) officer stationed at Syokimau AP Camp,” stated Kiama.
The human rights organisations have strongly condemned the disappearance of the three who include cab driver Joseph Muiruri.
“We have quite a number of cases from that jurisdiction, a case in point is of a pastor who was shot losing his jaw in the process, from a bullet shot by a senior police officer. Thereafter he was arrested and charged with interfering with police duties, a charge that is yet to be proven. He was intimidated and efforts to get help from the police headquarters were futile. As we speak the case is incomplete because the police refused to investigate the case,” stated Kiama.
The case is not the first within that particular jurisdiction, hence the need for an inquiry.
Kiama further cited that there have been reports of disappearance of victims, witnesses and now human rights activists especially those involved in cases against senior police officers.
“This is the first time that we are getting an abduction of an advocate of the High Court during the course of duty. This is a direct affront to human rights defenders and the entire civil society space thus we all need to come together around this matter so that we don’t lose that space to be able to pursue justice within the criminal justice system,” said Kiama.
Makueni Member of Parliament Daniel Maanzo who was present during the briefing seconded Kiama’s sentiments and also called upon the human rights bodies to present a petition to the Speaker of the National Assembly so that the matter can be taken up with immediate effect.
“This will enable us to summon the Interior Minister to explain why the three are said to be missing in the hands of police. We need to move fast to save them from any harm,” said Maanzo.
He condemned the current disappearance of the three people and called on the Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, Inspector General Joseph Boinnet to take hold of the matter with the sense of urgency and carry out investigations.
The Makueni MP said such acts by the police need to be stopped so that the law is followed in accordance with the Constitution.