Police in a tight spot after man’s death

Thursday, December 24th, 2020 00:00 |
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i with Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and top security officials during a visit at Rapid Deployed Unit at Administration Police Training College in Utawala, Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/Gerald Ithana

The fatal attack on an unarmed man in Kisii town on Tuesday has brought to fore the rot and brutality that has characterised police operations in the recent past.

Though most actions and inactions by the rogue police officers go unreported, an independent probe has shown that there is a surge in such cases, especially by senior officers.

Yesterday, the Director of the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) Mohammed Amin and his team yesterday travelled to Kisii to launch investigations into the attack on Bramwel Jimmy Chakunza who later died on Tuesday.

Chakunza 28, was assaulted by officers at Kisii Central police station on Saturday night and died while receiving treatment at Nyanchwa Adventist Mission Hospital.

 “Our Unit is involved. We are on the ground and have launched investigations into the death and claims of police involvement,” Amin said.

  The brutal attack, the latest in a string of police actions to stoke public anger in the country, comes barely three weeks after two officers were charged with causing grievous harm to their senior colleague in Ruai.

At least 15 station commanders are currently being investigated over serious offences including kidnapping and enforced disappearances, sodomy, fraud and collusion with cartel.

Over 100 others are facing other allegations including corruption and disciplinary offences, according to a probe.

The independent probe has also revealed that certain specific patrol officers from Pangani police station, with the full knowledge of the station commanders, were arresting notorious suspects who were neither booked in custody nor taken to court.

One of the latest investigations involves the disappearance of Ramadhan Bakari who was allegedly arrested by officers on December 10 around 4pm.

The other suspect arrested with him was later released after he allegedly paid money.

On December 12, Bakari’s brother went to Pangani police station and reported his disappearance.

The report was booked under Occurrence Book (OB) number 71/12/12/2020.

Interestingly, the OCS Pangani did not assign any officer to investigate the matter nor sent a signal to police headquarters about a missing person.

However, when Haki Africa planned a press briefing over the disappearance on Monday, Pangani police station through Inspector Dishon Angoya sent ‘Missing person’ report to police headquarters and all stations in the country.

In another shocking revelation yesterday morning, Mitheru OCS Chief Inspector John Marete was arrested on suspicion that he was having carnal knowledge of young boys in his house within Chogoria town.

A team of senior officers, led by the Maara OCPD Mohamed Jarso and his DCI counterpart, raided the house and found the six young men sleeping on the floor of the officer’s house.

Placed in custody 

“Shockingly, the perpetrator of this beastly crime is a Chief Inspector of Police, in-charge of a Police Post within Chogoria, who is supposed to safeguard the rights of such victims as a law enforcement officer,” the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti said yesterday.

The boys, aged between 14 and 19, were grilled and revealed that the station commander had been abusing them.

“Upon expeditious interrogation of the boys, it was established that the senior officer has been sodomising them for an unspecified period.

The suspect has since been placed in custody pending further investigations and arraignment,” he added.

Another station commander under investigations, by the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) is Chief Inspector Lucy Waithera, the Embakasi police OCS.

C.I Waithera is suspected to have colluded with car dealership fraudsters who seek to repossess vehicles they have sold or use the police to extort money from the buyers.

Last month, the officer is said to have sent her juniors to Kilifi where they arrested a secondary school principal and flimsy allegations that his car had been sighted at a scene of crime.

The teacher together with his car were brought to Nairobi. He was later released on a cash bail and was to be charged in court. He has never been taken to court.

The teacher was released on a cash bail and ordered to report to court but the officers never charged him.

The IAU detectives have already grilled the officer and her juniors. Officers from Isinya police station are also being investigated in a similar fraud where a bank manager has reported that the officers detained his vehicle, again on very flimsy grounds, since September last year.

More on News