Trigger-happy police officers put on notice

DPP Noordin Haji (in checked shirt) and other officers during the Kayole community dialogue yesterday /GORDON OUKO
DPP Noordin Haji (in checked shirt) and other officers during the Kayole community dialogue yesterday /GORDON OUKO

The fight against police killings and brutality got a boost yesterday when key players in the criminal justice system warned culprits that their days are numbered.

They trooped to Kayole, Nairobi, for talks with residents.

DPP Noordin Haji said killing of suspected criminals is not a government policy and that it must stop.

Haji and DCI George Kinoti led law enforcement officials in a meeting with residents in Kayole Social Hall. It was organised by civil rights organisations, including the International Justice Mission.

“Everybody has an inalienable right to be subjected to the judicial process if they are alleged to be criminals,” the DPP said.

He put the Kayole division police boss on the spot over a case in which one of the attendants claimed that her 14-year-old brother was shot in December last year. Haji asked the officer if he is a ware of the case. He did not have the faintest of idea.

The response did not augur well with Haji. He told the officer to call his officers to get information about the case, promoting cheers from participants.


Kinoti acknowledged that extrajudicial killings “are happening in the service and we can’t lie about it”.

“I’ve handled complaints about our colleagues taking law into their own hands and killing our fellow citizens.”

The DCI chief urged residents and human rights outfits to work with the police to expose “criminals, both in uniform and civilians”.

“It’s true criminals are here in Kayole and other slum areas,” he said, adding that the criminals do not deserve to continue harassing hardworking and law-abiding people.

Kinoti however appealed to the police to remain true to their professional edicts and ensure humane treatment of suspects.

“As we seek to enforce the law, we must observe the rights of our people. We won’t be officers forever. Our families live in the very society which we harass,” Kinoti said.

“I can assure you that no officer under my command will be covered when he or she has killed an innocent citizen. I won’t cover you. If I do, then let me be cursed.”

Wilfred Olal, the convener of the social justice centres working group, decried the work of the crime busters, popularly known in the areas as hessys. He accused them of being behind the killings.

“These hessys, be it in Dandora, Mathare, Kibera, Kayole and other places, publish the pictures of young people and human rights defenders on social media and instruct them to move to other places or upcountry. Why is that? “ he said.

“Sometimes they even offer fares to the identified people to move back to the village.”

DCI Kinoti said he “does not know who these hessys are”, promising to investigate their work.

Transparency International executive director Houghton Irungu called for objective efforts by the law enforcement and rights group to confront violent crimes.



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