NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 25 – The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has launched investigations into the shooting of a man by police in Mathira, Nyeri county, on Friday.
In a statement released on Saturday, IPOA said the victim sustained bullet wounds during the incident which involved the police.
“In line with provisions of IPOA Act, which dictates that injuries occasioned by actions of the police be investigated by the Authority, a Rapid Response Team has been dispatched to the area with instructions to obtain all relevant information that may be relevant in unveiling the circumstances surrounding the incident,” IPOA Chairperson Anne Makori said.
She said the agency will make recommendations for the prosecution of the police officer involved if found culpable.
Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua while commenting on the incident expressed his concern over the rising cases of police brutality across the country.
Gachagua claimed that the police visited the area at around 7pm on Friday and started beating an old man, a father to the victim adding that the victim tried to rescue his father but the police proceeded to open fire and injured the man.
He added that other police officers who responded following the incident went forward to shoot in the air causing panic in the area.
The legislator called on the quick prosecution of all the police officers involved in the Friday incident.
“I have told the county police commander, the officers who have shot the young man, must be arraigned in court on Monday and charged with the offence of attempted murder. We are also saying the women who were beaten here and went to hospital, and Kiamariga police station have refused to give them a P3 medical examination form, the county police commander must send a senior officer to come and issue P3 to the victims of police brutality,” he said.
He also called on IPOA to fast track the prosecution of the police officers behind the incident.
Gachagua appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to end the dusk-to-dawn curfew claiming that the police have been taking advantage of the curfew rules to terrorize the residents.
“With due humility and respect, I call upon our President to stop this curfew because it is serving no useful purpose but enriching the policemen. It’s only giving them an opportunity to collect money from Wananchi. Using the guise of curfew, they are all over collecting money from people,” he said.
The Mathira MP issued an ultimatum stating that he will call for demonstrations if the police officers involved are not charged by Monday.
Makori however called on the members of the public to remain calm and allow IPOA investigate the matter.
“Meanwhile, the Authority appeals to the residents of the area to maintain calm and allow the due process of the law to take its course. IPOA remains committed to being independent, impartial and fair,” she said.
IPOA’s statement came hours after chaos was witnessed in in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) following the shooting of a boda-boda rider which was blamed on the police.
Reports suggest that the plain clothed officer shot the victim after a disagreement over a bribe.
Cases of police shootings and violence against civilians have continued to be witnessed in the country in the recent years amid a public outcry and petitions from rights groups.
Just recently, IPOA investigated and recommended the prosecution of six cops who were accused of murdering two brothers Benson Njiru Ndwiga aged 22 and Emmanuel Mutura Ndwiga (19) on August 1 in Embu’s Kianjokoma village.
The officers who were charged on September 2 pleaded not guilty to the murder charges.
On September 14, IPOA released a report stating that it the agency was pursuing at least 200 active cases of police abuses against civilians.
Makori stated that out of the 200 cases, 98 were in court while 148 cases were before the Director of Public Prosecutions with various recommendations.
IPOA’s recent performance report covering the period between July and December 2020 indicated that the agency received and processed 1,557 complaints, conducted 330 investigations and inspected 142 police facilities. It also monitored 53 police operations during the period.
IPOA was established through an Act of Parliament published in November 2011 to provide for civilian oversight over the work of the police in Kenya. The inaugural Board was sworn into office in June 2012.