, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 30 – The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) is investigating claims of police brutality in Mumias during a search of stolen guns.
The authority says it has dispatched its investigators to the ground where they will interview residents, victims and police officers themselves.
Area residents have accused police officers of brutalizing them during the search to recover firearms and ammunition stolen last week from Booker Police Post.
Regional Police boss Moses Nyakwama has however defended his officers against the allegations saying no formal report has been made.
The Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet has since ordered expeditious institution of investigations into complaints of excesses by the police during the recovery operation.
“Any member of public, violated or ill-treated in any manner, is asked to lodge official complaint for purposes of investigations. Any police officer found culpable will face severe disciplinary action including arraignment in court and dismissal from the service,” he warned.
Rights group, the Independent Medico Legal Unit have also launched a private probe with a motive to bring to book culpable officers.
“Our preliminary investigations indicate that this operation was not only brutish, shameless, and careless but one that was conducted completely outside the confines of the law, leading to the tragic death of one person, sexual assault of women, abuses and injuries to tens of residents, and looting and destruction of private property,” reads a statement from IMLU.
Preliminary reports also indicate that some of the victims were being arrested when they went to report their complaints at the Mumias Police Station.
This is in complete violation of Article 28 on human dignity where every person has inherent dignity and the right to have that dignity respected and protected. Further Article 29 (a) provides that every person has the right to freedom and security, which includes the right not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause.” A reward of Sh500,000 has also been offered to anyone who has information on those who stole 7 G3 rifles ammunition from the Booker Police Patrol Base.
Police have assured the public that any information received will be treated with confidence and those who give it will be under protective custody.
The thugs stormed the police post and made away with seven G3 assault rifles and nine magazines loaded with 184 rounds of ammunition.
The attackers hacked a police officer manning the post with a crude weapon inflicting serious injuries on his head and arm before making away with the weapons.