• Police officers have used excessive force on innocent and unarmed citizens in the past.
• Police are supposed to act like any other Kenyan public servant, employed to offer services to wananchi not inflicting injuries to them.
The move by Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to interdict police officers who were taped clobbering a student during the demonstration of JKUAT is a beacon of hope Kenyans masses.
This is what the top brass in police service lacked in the past. Thanks to new IG and Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, there is hope that the service will handle Kenyans more humanely out of fear of disciplinary action.
Three of the four officers captured in the video have been identified and an investigation is ongoing to find the fourth one in the tape that sparked a public outcry over the handling of an unarmed student already on the ground–meaning he was of no threat to the officers.
In police training, cops are only supposed to use force when the ‘suspect’ resists arrest or becomes uncooperative or is armed. IG Mutyambai acknowledged the wrong in the officers and made a move.
With this trend on course, Kenyans will come to appreciate the reforms in the police service. Many times, police officers have used excessive force on innocent and unarmed citizens in the past, but government officials quash these reports like nothing happened. But the call to suspend the cops shines new hope that civilians will be handled with dignity even if it leads to an arrest.
The National Police Service needs to embrace the art of nationalism when executing public undertakings. The police are supposed to act like any other Kenyan public servant, employed to offer services to wananchi not inflicting injuries to them.
The Independent Police Oversight Authority should strengthen and fast-track professional training to the police to keep out charlatans from the service. More stern action would also help in the reforms.