IPOA investigates police brutality at City Hall

Makori said any excessive use of it is condemned and attracts stiff penalties.

In Summary

• The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has launched investigations into claims of police harassment at City Hall.

• Makori said any excessive use of it is condemned and attracts stiff penalties.

Mlango Kubwa MCA Patricia Mutheu is clobbered by police officers inside the County Assembly corridors after they went to serve the speaker with a court order on 28 July 2020.
Mlango Kubwa MCA Patricia Mutheu is clobbered by police officers inside the County Assembly corridors after they went to serve the speaker with a court order on 28 July 2020.
Image: FREDERICK OMONDI

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has launched investigations into claims of police harassment at City Hall.

Chairperson Anne Makori on Tuesday said the authority has contacted some of the people who were present during the chaos that unfolded at the County Assembly of Nairobi earlier in the day.

"This preliminary inquiry seeks to establish the role played by police officers who were deployed at the premise during the fracas in which at least one case of injury to a Member of the County Assembly was reported," she said.

 
 

Makori said whenever law enforcers apply force in quelling situations, they shall always ensure it is proportionate in accordance with the law and any excessive use of it is condemned and attracts stiff penalties.

"The Authority remains independent and impartial in handling and investigating all complaints," she said.

Mlango Kubwa MCA Patriciah Mutheu was clobbered by police during the chaos that erupted at City Hall.

This is after a section of MCAs attempted to serve Speaker Beatrice Elachi an impeachment notice signed by 59 of them.

There was a heavy contingent of police present at City Hall as they barred the MCAs who also wanted to serve Elachi with a court order suspending the appointment Edward Gichana as the clerk of the assembly.

However, Elachi locked herself in her office as the police prevented the MCAs from accessing the Speaker's office.

Mutheu said she was beaten by police officers after refusing to run when chaos escalated in the assembly.

 
 

“I was alone and not causing a disturbance as I waited for my members to serve the notice of impeachment when tear gas canisters were lobbed,” she said.

“I just had surgery a few months ago so I couldn't run when tear gas was lobbed. A policeman identified as Mwaniki came with a rungu and banged it on the table, ordering me to run but I couldn't run because of my condition,” she added.

It was at this juncture that the legislator says the police officer raised the rungu and beat her.

“The rungu was aimed at my face and when I blocked it , my hand got hit. Three other police joined him and they dragged me on the floor and beat me,” Mutheu explained

Mutheu was accompanied by women leaders to Central police station to report the abuse.

The women urged County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi to cease from using police to settle her woes with MCAs.

Gender CAS Rachel Shebesh expressed her disappointment and at the same time raised her concerns over the presence of police in the assembly.

“ I have been appointed by the President and in my capacity, I cannot sit back because of the kind of force used against these women only because they are exercising their rights,” she said.

"I’m urging Elachi my sister, stop it. Nobody has ever used war in politics and won, even if you do you will never execute your mandate,” she said.

Shebesh also pleaded with Elachi to spare women in the ongoing assembly wrangles even as she pursues to remain as the Speaker of the assembly.

“If you want war, call the men to fight each other but please don't call the police to fight women,” she added.

Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga also pleaded with Elachi to stop targeting women who are perceived to be a “weak link”.

She also put IG Mutyambai on the spot and questioned why police officers were allowed in the assembly.

“Even in Parliament we have our differences but never have we seen police being allowed in the National Assembly or Senate,” Omanga added.