LEADER

EDITORIAL: Police officers under probe must step aside

The police service seems to cover up for trigger happy cops until they turn the gun on colleagues, relatives or themselves

In Summary

• The fact that Benson Imbatu was under probe was enough to interdict or at worst redeploy him to a section where he need not handle guns.

• A gun is not a walking stick and any trigger happy policeman or civilian must be closely monitored. 

Moses Muya, who was injured when a Kabete police station cop fatally shot six people in Kangemi on December 7
LUCKY TO BE ALIVE: Moses Muya, who was injured when a Kabete police station cop fatally shot six people in Kangemi on December 7
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

Six innocent lives were on Tuesday lost in Nairobi's Kabete area due to wrong use of a gun by a policeman entrusted to protect people and property.  

Benson Imbatu shot his wife, turned the gun on five civilians and finally used the same to take his life.

What is puzzling is that Imbatu was under investigation by the Independent Police Oversight Authority over an earlier fatal shooting of a civilian but was still allowed to carry an AK-47 .

The fact that the officer was under probe was enough to interdict or at worst redeploy him to a section where he need not handle guns.

A gun is not a walking stick and any trigger happy policeman or civilian must be closely monitored. 

Cases of misuse of guns are rare in the military or other disciplined forces.

But the police service seems to cover up for trigger happy cops until they turn the gun on their colleagues, relatives or themselves.

Blaming the mental health of police officers alone is not enough. Proper procedures of issuing guns must be enforced to ensure accountability and check against misuse. 

The Law Reform Act of Kenya equally needs to be amended to ensure adequate compensation for such killings. The current Sh200,000 compensation is an insult.