NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – Nine police officers will face murder charges following arbitrary killings committed on diverse dates since 2015.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has approved the charges, which also include misuse of firearms on the officers after an intensive investigation by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority, IPOA.
“In all the cases, the ODPP said there is sufficient evidence to sustain trial in a court of law,” said Anne Makori, IPOA Chairperson, in a statement to the media.
Fredrick Leliman, a former police officer who was suspended and put on trial for the murder of lawyer Willie Kimani, his client and driver in 2016 is also listed among the nine, for a separate incident in which he is accused of killing two traders–Jacob Mwenda Mbai and Elizabeth Nduku.
IPOA said Leliman will be charged alongside Stephen Lelei, a Chief Inspector of Police who was in charge of Mlolongo Police Station.
IPOA said of the deceased people, “They were shot by police officers who thereafter reported that they were responding to a planned robbery.” The incident occurred on May 27, 2016.
Six other police officers from Majiwa General Service Unit (GSU) camp are accused of killing Mary Chepkorir Kiprotich in Laikipia, during a raid on an illicit brew den in her house on August 3, 2015.
The officers are said to have assaulted her and took her to a police station, while unconscious only to realise that she was unable to wake up when they wanted to put her in the cells.
they are then said to have taken her to a nearby dispensary where they were informed that she was already dead. That is when they took her to the mortuary. A complaint was filed by her relatives who witnessed the beating, arrest and how she was carried into a police Landcruiser while unconscious.
They officers include Inspector Harrison Mwa, Corporal John Kimweli Musau, Constable Linus Kipngetich Terer and Police Constable Joseph Mureithi.
The others are Police Constables David Kipkemoi and Magdalene Nachapai.
“The officers attached to Majiwa General Service Unit (GSU) camp had accompanied the area Chief in conducting an operation against the sale of illegal alcohol, during which she died,” Makori said in a statement.
The officers, the IPOA chairperson said “face an additional charge of unlawful use of firearm contrary to Section 26 A (1) (a) of the Firearms Act.”
The third incident, involving the death of Ali Sora Bonaya, occurred in North Horr, in Marsabit County on October 28, 2017.
On the fateful day, Bonaya is said to have gone to a nearby police station with his friends, as was the norm, to watch TV news in the evening.
But in the process, he is said to have reacted loudly to a news item, in what appeared to have offended a senior police officer who was in the group.
It is the senior officer who directed one of the police officers present to discipline him, and he did exactly that. Took him out and assaulted him, leaving him with serious internal injuries.
He then left with his friends, but kept complaining of internal injuries.
When he went back to file a formal complaint, officers on duty are said to have declined to take his report and he left, only to collapse and die the following day on October 30.
“Mr Bonaya collapsed and died at home, two days after he sustained injuries inflicted during an altercation at the local police station,” the IPOA Chairperson said.
In this incident, Constable Bernard Gachau will face murder while Sergeant James Mulwa will be charged with neglect of duty contrary to Section 128 of the Penal Code.
The latest development from IPOA comes at a time the National Police Service is on spot over cases of brutality and excessive use of force, including on the enforcement of the dusk to dawn curfew imposed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus that had infected more than 300 people by April 23. It had also claimed lives of 14 people.
Informed sources say there are over 80 cases already pending in court on police brutality after IPOA investigations, with more than 200 other files forwarded to the DPP for review.