OMBUDSMAN HEARINGS

Isiolo residents complain about extrajudicial killings

Five families have lost relatives but are yet to bury them since their bodies have not been found

In Summary
  • Woman Rep says persons suspected of poaching should be arrested and charged but not killed
  • Commission chair Kajuju promises Isiolo residents she will act on their complaints
Igembe South MP John Paul Mwirigi at Ryenya Primary School in his constituency
Igembe South MP John Paul Mwirigi at Ryenya Primary School in his constituency
Image: DENNIS DIBONDO

Claims of extrajudicial killings allegedly perpetrated by officers from the Kenya Wildlife Service dominated a session held by the Commission of Administrative Justice in Isiolo town on Wednesday.

Woman Rep Rehema Jaldesa told the commission chaired by Florence Kajuju that over five families have lost their loved ones and are yet to bury them since their bodies have not been found.

“The families and friends of the victims are convinced that officers from the Kenya Wildlife Service were behind the disappearance of their kinsmen since there were allegations of them being involved in poaching activities prior to their disappearance,” she said.

The legislator said although poaching should never be tolerated, anyone suspected to be involved ought to be arrested, taken to court and jailed if found guilty.

Jaldesa said it was painful for family and friends when one of their own disappears at the hands of a government agency and can not be traced.

Families say their relatives were fed to crocodiles. The lawmaker said the government has the capacity to investigate the allegations.

She also called upon the office of the ombudsman to address injustices allegedly meted on the people of Isiolo South by neighbours from Lagdera in Garissa county.

 She said herders from neighbouring counties troop to Isiolo with their livestock during drought without any structured engagement but end up killing some people before they go back when it rains.

She said local administrators in Isiolo South fail to serve the locals as they are loyal to Lagdera. She alleged chiefs and assistant chiefs do not listen to directives from their seniors in Isiolo county but follow instructions from their counterparts in Garissa. 

She said it was an injustice that the ombudsman needed to follow up on and address.

Commission chairperson Florence Kajuju said the engagement with members of public in Isiolo was fruitful as her office had received crucial leads to some matters they need to act upon.

She promosed Isiolo residents that her office would act on the submissions while presenting others to the other relevant commissions for appropriate action.

Kajuju said the Commission on Administrative Justice has powers to summon any public officer who fails to discharge duties to Kenyans or discharges them inappropriately and with bias.