NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 1 – With cases of extra-judicial killings on the rise, the Independent Medico Legal Unit now wants the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to take charge and get rid of the rogue officers from the service.
IMLU Executive Director Peter Kiama says the organisation has documented over 100 cases of deaths as a result of police bullets coupled with lack of proper investigations and accountability.
“The cases of extra-judicial executions and enforced disappearances in the hands of police have reached crisis proportions,” he said. “This is a disease that we have to tackle in a very determined way.”
Speaking to Capital FM News, Kiama said despite the Constitution giving powers to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to monitor and investigate policing operations affecting members of the public, their role is being hampered by lack of cooperation.
Though several officers have been arrested for their role in several killings or enforced disappearances, the problem remains deeply rooted.
He lamented that the ongoing police reforms have only been focusing on the economic activities of the police, “without considering issues of human rights. They are yet to dismiss officers for violating human rights.”
As a result, he said most Kenyans have opted to remain silent for the apparent lack of action against rogue officers, “while some fear for their lives.”
According to Kiama, the situation has worsened. About 25 extra judicial killings and 81 forced disappearances and torture cases were recorded.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) report titled ‘The Error of Fighting Terror With Terror’ accused police of using water boarding, electric shocks, genital mutilation, exposure to extreme cold or heat, hanging on trees, mock executions and exposure to stinging by ants in the wild to torture people.
“The Kenya security agencies have continued to conduct abusive operations against individuals and groups suspected to be associated with terror attacks in the various parts of the country,” reads the report.
“KNCHR has heard multiple narratives of suspects being rounded up and detained for periods ranging from a few hours to many days in extremely overcrowded and inhumane and degrading conditions.”
The latest case of extra-judicial killings was reported in Mwingi where a man was shot dead on a hospital bed and a Meru trader whose body was found in Machakos after going missing for a week having been seen last in the company of police officers.
His body was collected by police from a thicket in Salama along the Mombasa Highway a day after he went missing on August 21.
Two police officers have since been arrested over the killing.
The police service has continued to be on spot two months after the abduction and murder of lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and their taxi driver Joseph Muiruri.
The three went missing in July as they drove along Mombasa Road from the Mavoko Law Courts and their bodies were later found in a river in Oldonyo Sabuk.
Four police officers are facing murder charges over the death of the three.