, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 8 – The police officer who allegedly took photographs of a school girl during a search and later distributed them on social media has been placed under disciplinary action.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said the officer will undergo the unspecified disciplinary action as investigations into the matter progresses.
Boinnet who spoke to Capital News beat on Saturday morning did not however, state if the officer has been interdicted, only saying any further action can only be determined after the investigations.
“We are undertaking disciplinary action on the officer suspected to be responsible of circulating the pictures,” Boinnet said “And if the law is found to have been breached, criminal charges will be preferred.”
He said his office took, “very seriously,” the preservation of the dignity of all those with whom his servicemen came into contact and would not condone rights violations.
Boinnet spoke even as the Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) piled pressure on authorities to undertake a thorough probe and ensure the officer or officers culpable are prosecuted and dismissed from service.
Macharia Njeru who heads the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has equally demanded a thorough probe on the matter, saying the “conduct by the police officers is unacceptable”.
The officers are accused of taking photographs of a school girl during a search for drugs when they were arrested on a bus to Nairobi, before distributing them on social media, sparking outrage from the public.
The form four student at Kanyama Secondary School in Karatina whose nude photos have been circulating on social media was among more than 30 who had hired a bus from Karatina to Nairobi after closing for August holidays on Wednesday.
Police say they intercepted the bus on the Karatina-Nairobi road after receiving complaints that the students were consuming drugs and engaging in sex while hurling insults on people during stop-overs in markets.
The girl (namewithheld) has since been charged and pleaded guilty of possessing drugs but she has not been sentenced after the magistrate ordered for her probation and school report.
Nude photos of the girl circulating on social media shows a female officer searching her to take away rolls of bhang and match boxes from her underpants and bra.
All her colleagues were released for lack of evidence after police failed to link bhang recovered in the 33-seater matatu to any of them, eventhough they said there were complaints that some of them were having sex on the bus and consuming alcohol.
The bus driver and conductor were also charged with various offences, including carrying excess passengers and operating on undesignated route but no charge related to the students behavior or drugs was leveled against them for lack of evidence.