Doctor-cop who filled P3 forms for 30 years dies

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021 00:00 |
Dr Zephaniah Kamau (left) assesses assault victim Geoffrey Maina at Nairobi Area Traffic headquarters. Photo/Courtesy

The longest-serving police surgeon Dr Zephania Kamau died yesterday at a Nairobi Hospital. He was 61.

Dr Kamau, a Commissioner of Police (CP), has been the man behind the police medical examination reports (P3 form) for the last 31 years.

According to police headquarters, Dr Kamau died yesterday morning at the Nairobi hospital where he had been admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

He has been conducting medical examinations on victims of physical and sexual assault as well as occupational and road accidents to determine the degree of injury.

On average, Dr Kamau would attend to about 100 people daily and would sometimes be forced to work odd hours, when his opinion is urgently needed. 

He however had an assistant who also helped in attending to the victims.

Dr Kamau has also been a key witness in most of the assault cases across the country.

Section 48 of the Evidence Act states that when courts have to form opinions about certain issues, such opinions are admissible if they are made by persons specially skilled in such fields.

He has been moving to various courts, especially Nairobi’s Milimani, Kibera, Makadara, City Hall and JKIA courts. Before he got an assistant, he would also serve Kiambu, Machakos and Kajiado counties.

To ease his burden, the government in 2019 gave powers to medical officers to also fill the P3 forms but some of them have been reluctant, saying it was inconveniencing to testify in court.

Born in 1960, Kamau studied medicine and surgery at the University of Nairobi and was posted to the Ministry of Health after graduation.

In 1989, he joined the police service and was posted to Nairobi Area in 1990. He was a father of three.

The National Police Service spokesman Bruno Shioso yesterday said Dr Kamau had been sick for some time.

For years, some Kenyans have complained about the issuance of the P3 form citing unnecessary delays and corruption.

Reports had indicated that despite the strict procedures for acquiring the documents, some people who do not meet the qualifications still acquire them.

The P3 form is normally filled by a medical officer after examining the victim’s injuries, state of clothing, general medical history, general appearance and demeanor among others.

The doctor should also establish the approximate age of the injuries, probable type of weapon used in causing the injury and any treatment received prior to the examination.

Kidero-Shebesh case

Also to be assessed is the degree of the injury to establish whether it is harm, maim or grievous harm to guide the prosecution on the charges to prefer.

In one of the cases, detectives investigating the case of then Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and the then Women Representative Rachael Shebesh said both were issued with P3 forms, and were thus to be charged with “affray” — taking part in a fight in a public place.

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