POLICE BRUTALITY

Citizens' silence in the way of justice against charged cops

Silence is the greatest gift to a system that thrives on impunity

In Summary

• For the past two years, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority has been investing more than 5,000 cases of police violence and/or complaints.

• Only two of these investigations have led to convictions, showing a lack of goodwill to reform the service. 

Yasin Hussein Moyo, who was shot at the balcony of his home.
KILLED BY POLICE: Yasin Hussein Moyo, who was shot at the balcony of his home.
Image: COURTESY

Cases of police violence in Kenya take long to be resolved largely because of lack of show of public interest. A citizenry that’s slow in appreciating its responsibility is complacent to atrocities of the state. Silence is the greatest gift to a system that thrives on impunity. Toxic ethnicity destroyed our collective power, we’re now determined to let silence break our togetherness.

It’s not strange that we haven’t followed up on the murder of 13-year-old Yasin Moyo. We decried the act for a while, and as is our habit, left it upon the family to search for justice for their kin. 

Emmanuel Oyombe, the constable who was charged in April with the murder of 23-year-old Carilton Maina, is still serving as a police officer. If the National Police Service Commission cannot see the need to indict Oyombe on grounds that he’s facing murder charges, we might as well give up on the possibility of his conviction.

For the past two years, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority has been investing more than 5,000 cases of police violence and/or complaints. Only two of these investigations have led to convictions. This clearly shows lack of goodwill to reform the service.

To this day, nobody has been convicted for the murder of Chris Msando, the former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ICT manager. Even when Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi said “they” would soon reveal Msando’s killers, we acted as if he was referring to some alien character in a movie.

University of Nairobi students Oscar King’ara and Paul Oulo were shot in full glare of the public by people dressed in police uniform on March 5, 2009, in Nairobi’s Kilimani area. More than eleven years later, these murders remain unresolved.

Until we collectively fulfil our sovereign responsibility, the state will always conspire with its internal operatives to perpetrate police violence, the search for justice will remain a protracted process with little chances of success.

 

Journalism student at Multimedia University of Kenya