NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1 – Police Constables Benjamin Kahindi Changawa and Stanley Okoti have been found guilty for killing an Administration Police officer and two other people in Kangemi, Nairobi four years ago.
They are set to be sentenced next Wednesday.
The two officers had claimed that the three were robbery suspects.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority which investigated the case welcomed the ruling, saying it is an impetus to the war against extra-judicial killings and other police excesses.
“This milestone decision reiterates the independence and commitment of IPOA in safeguarding the rights of victims of police killings including serving officers as was in this case. This aims to bring to life Article 244 of the Constitution,” reads a section of the IPOA statement.
The AP, Vitalis Odhiambo Odongo, had been attached to the late Bomachoge MP Joel Onyancha as a bodyguard while the two other victims were his relatives.
Odongo was shot nine times.
The ruling comes a time when IPOA is probing more than 240 killings, with 18 of the deaths happening in the past seven days.
Under Section 25(1) of IPOA Act, the authority is mandated to investigate any death or serious injury including while in police custody, which are the result of police action or were caused by members of the service while on duty.
Upon such an incident, police are required by Section 25(2) of the Act to “take all necessary steps to secure evidence which may be relevant for the investigation, including pictorial and written evidence and shall in writing notify the authority and supply it with the evidence and all other facts relevant to the matter, including if available, the names and contact details of all persons who may be able to assist the authority should it decide to conduct an investigation.”
On Wednesday, IPOA witnessed post-mortems of five victims of extra-judicial killings at the City Mortuary.
Among the five was a youth from Mathare who was found with seven bullet wounds.
Evans Odhiambo was initially caught up in a shootout as police officers were engaging thugs in Mathare North Area 2, where he was hit by a stray bullet on October 26.
But in a turn of events, Odhiambo was to be later picked by officers in civilian clothes at Mathare Health Centre before he could be transferred to Mama Lucy Hospital only for his body to be later found at City Mortuary, with six more bullet wounds.