HELD ALL WEEKEND

Bulk Friday arrests against 24-hour holding before charge

Abolishing unnecessary Friday arrests will curb police appetite for bribes

In Summary

• The new Constitution requires a suspect to be arraigned within 24 hours of their arrest. 

• Before 2010 Constitution came into force, police would collect suspects from streets, drinking dens and those just walking out in the dark. 

A man is hounded into a police van following demonstrations over land ownership in Kamulu, Machakos county.
INTO THE 'MARIAMU': A man is hounded into a police van following demonstrations over land ownership in Kamulu, Machakos county.
Image: FILE

Kamata kamata Friday should be brought to an end because there's no court on Saturday and Sunday.  


Why would the police want to be accompanied by suspected culprits all weekend? The trend in itself is suspect.

Before the Constitution 2010 came in place, police swoops every Friday was the order of the week, police cells were full to the brim with people picked from the streets, villages, liquor dens, and probably just walking out at night and at times, the police canteens and compounds were used as police jails or cells for extortion of hundreds of suspects.

The police van nicknamed 'Mariamu' or 'Fatuma' would go picking almost everyone at random. Then a "Kangaroo court" would commence from Saturday morning all through to Sunday and part of Monday mornings and take only those without a coin to the court that Monday

The days when police would lock in a suspect for 14 days without being arraigned will return if kamata kamata Friday is left to continue. The new Constitution requires a suspect to be arraigned within 24 hours of their arrest and we should stick to this to curb the growing appetite for bribes to let suspects out of a police cell. 

 

Mombasa