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November 21, 2018

DPP Haji to crack whip on Coast extrajudicial killings

DPP Noordin Hajj addressing the media in Mombasa on Sunday after meeting HAKI-Africa officials.Photo/BY MALEMBA MKONGO
DPP Noordin Hajj addressing the media in Mombasa on Sunday after meeting HAKI-Africa officials.Photo/BY MALEMBA MKONGO

Police involved in youth killings at the Coast will soon face the law.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said officers behind the spate of killings will be prosecuted. “If evidence links the killings to any officer, they will be punished.”

Haji spoke after a meeting with Haki Africa, a Mombasa civil society that has been at the forefront in the fight against extrajudicial killings.

The DPP said he will bring on board all parties, which include the Inspector General, Ipoa and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, to come up with a strategy on dealing with such cases.

“Victims of police killings must get justice.” Haji said in three weeks, there will be response to the killings, which will include investigations on the police, arrests and prosecution.

He further said his office will ensure there is no cover-up as they will closely monitor investigations. The DPP also received an extrajudicial killings report from Haki Africa.

It showed 32 people, including a 14-year-old boy, have been shot and killed by the police. Two other people, including a seven-year-old girl, were injured by police.

Hussein Khalid, Haki executive director, said the killings happened under the guise of fighting crime. “We are concerned about the killings by the police and the numbers are worrying. We are not against fighting crime,we are against killing people,” he said.

The DPP’s visit to the Coastal city comes a few days after three youths were gunned down by officers. On Thursday evening, three teenagers were shot by police in Utange, Kisauni constituency. They were aged, 19, 18 and 17.

Their mothers said their sons sold secondhand clothes and were at work when they were picked up by the police, taken to a secondary location and shot dead.

The DPP’s assurance will come as a reprieve for families who have lost relatives in the hands of police.

Since 2012, there has only been one conviction after two officers were found guilty of killing 14-year-old Kwekwe Mwandaza.

In June, a civil society group said police carried out at least 803 extrajudicial killings between 2013 and 2015. Social Justice Working Group said the number is a compilation of all documented deaths reported in the media over the period.

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