NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – Seven Administration Police Officers suspected to have been involved in the killing of seven taxi drivers in Kawangware on Wednesday night have been arrested and interdicted to facilitate investigations.
Internal Security Minister George Saitoti told a news conference all the officers who were on duty in the area on the night the killings occurred had been disarmed and their firearms taken for ballistic examination.
“All the seven Administration Police officers involved in the shooting have been apprehended and are assisting police with the investigations. All police officers are required to take extra precaution when handling firearms,” Professor Saitoti said.
He added: “A complaint has been raised and it has to be thoroughly investigated. We want to understand the circumstances under which they (police) opened fire and killed,” he added.
The Minister said: “There were various explanations given over the killings, hence the need to thoroughly investigate the issue. If there is a criminal element found, everyone involved will be taken to court.”
Police had earlier claimed that the seven men killed were suspected Mungiki sect members who were gunned down when they were found terrorising boda boda operators.
Fellow taxi drivers who managed to escape later recounted how the Administration Police officers accosted them and opened fire, killing the seven.
One of the Administration Policeman at the Dagoreti AP Camp told Capital News they rushed to the scene after a boda boda operator went there to report that they were under attack by Mungiki’s who were armed with machetes.
Kenya National Commission of Human Rights Vice Chairman Hassan Omar Hassan told journalists Wednesday night’s killings were “a testimony that police were still carrying out arbitrary killings in the country.”
“KNCHR is shocked, astounded and greatly perturbed by the incessant persistent and continuous manner in which extra-judicial killings and summary executions continue to be carried out by security agents with seeming impunity and callousness,” Mr Hassan said.
“We have commenced impartial and independent investigations to establish the veracity or otherwise of these allegations by the police,” he said.
Area Member of Parliament Beth Mugo who is also the Minister for Health and Sanitation vowed to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion.
“Such actions will not be tolerated, where police just come and kill people without any justification whatsoever, justice must prevail,” the Minister said.
The killings sparked violent protests on Wednesday, which led to the shooting of one of the demonstrators who is still admitted to hospital.