Rights group raises concern after cop harassment

Government psychologist Josephine Ndinda (C) with Ann Nyambura [2nd Right] and Paul Munyoki in Mombasa on Thursday, February 7, 2018. / BRIAN OTIENO
Government psychologist Josephine Ndinda (C) with Ann Nyambura [2nd Right] and Paul Munyoki in Mombasa on Thursday, February 7, 2018. / BRIAN OTIENO

Human rights activists have raised concerns after a female police officer reportedly assaulted a government employee on Tuesday.

Josephine Ndinda, a psychologist at the Tudor subcounty hospital, was roughed up and had her blouse torn by the female officer at the Dog Section police station.

This was after the female officer saw her filming them allegedly soliciting bribes from matatu and tuk-tuk drivers arrested for various traffic offences.

Ndinda had gone to the station after her tuk-tuk’s driver was arrested because the windscreen had a crack.

On Thursday, Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri) rapid response officer Francis Auma said though not all police officers are rogue, there were 'notorious ones' at the Dog Section.

“Some officers are fond of harassing innocent citizens who go about their errands,” said Auma in a statement.

Ndinda on Thursday morning said she fears for her life after the police officers who roughed her up threatened to "teach her a lesson".

On Tuesday, she went to Nyali police station to report the matter.

“They told me they could not book the matter in the OB (Occurrence Book) at the front office and instructed me to go into an inner room. There I overheard them saying they will teach me a lesson.

The female officer who assaulted me was also there. I found the whole scenario sinister and took off,” Ndinda said.

On Wednesday, she reported the matter to Mombasa county commissioner Evans Achoki who instructed her to return to his office Thursday morning.

Achoki will meet a senior Independent Police Oversight Authority director over the matter.

Achoki said Ipoa was best placed to handle the matter.

“Your matter will be adequately addressed,” he told Ndinda.

The psychologist said the police at the Dog Section on Tuesday refused to release her tuk-tuk despite paying the Sh5,000 fine that was imposed by the Shanzu Law Court.

“As we speak, they are still holding it. They refused to release it to my driver insisting that I go there personally so I can prove that the tuk-tuk is mine,” Ndinda said.

Muhuri’s Auma said this is the second incident in a month they have recorded.

Two weeks ago, a rapid response officer was also roughed up at the Makupa police station where he had taken his client to record a statement.

“It should be amplified that the police are no longer a force but a service,” Auma said.

Kenya Legal Networks community health advocate Anne Nyambura said Ndinda’s rights have been violated.

“She has been denied her rights to record a statement with the police by the police,” Nyambura said.

“It is ironical that she has been assaulted by the very people we are supposed to run to for protection. We want justice for Josephine.”