NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 4 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery on Tuesday defended the National Police Service against claims of extra-judicial killings highlighted by a section of the media.
Nkaissery said there is no policy on extra-judicial killings in the police department, “and no death squads exist in the service.”
He reiterated that the figures given by a local newspaper showing the number of people killed in the past eight months are not factual.
“The allegations are clearly unsubstantiated and given in bad faith to undermine the efforts made by police and other security agencies in managing and controlling crime in this country,” said Nkaissery.
Referring to a report released by the independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) on alleged unlawful killings by the police, Nkaissery said the figures presented in the document to try and justify its allegations were grossly wrong and not verified.
“There is no policy whatsoever within the National Police Service to engage in extra-judicial killings,” he said. “Kenya is a country that is governed by law and the police are no exception.”
The IMLU report documented over 100 deaths as a result of police bullets coupled with lack of proper investigations and accountability.
The rights group say though several officers have been arrested for their role in killings or enforced disappearances, the problem remains deeply rooted.
They state that the ongoing police reforms have only been focusing on the economic activities of the police and are yet to dismiss officers for violating human rights.
According to the report, the situation has worsened with about 25 extra-judicial killings and 81 forced disappearances and torture cases being recorded.
Human rights groups continue to pile pressure on the National Police Service to crackdown on rogue officers.
CS Nkaissery said a commission of inquiry to probe alleged massive killings by police cannot be formed yet until the claims are ascertained.
“We are still investigating to confirm this report whether there is some truth in it before we take appropriate action. Only then shall we decide whether to form a commission to look into it deeply or dismiss the report,” stated Nkaissery.
Nkaissery also assured that the government has put in place a mechanism for facilitating better coordination between the National Police Service, the National Police Service Commission (NPSC), and the Independent Police Oversight Authority(IPOA) to ensure that all criminal or indiscipline cases involving the police are dealt with accordingly.