Monday, July 4, 2016

Extra Judicial Killings in Kenya: Why the IGP Joseph Boinnet must Resign or be sacked

In an interview with Larry Madowo last week, Mr. Charles Owino, the Kenya Police spokesperson asked why people were calling for the resignation of the IG of Police, yet rogue elements are found in every profession, including the one that the LSK belongs to.

But the case of the Mavoko 3 brings out several issues which demand that responsibility must be taken at the highest level if this country is to be prevented from falling into anarchy. These issues include:

1. Confirmed Incompetence
Through the murder of the three, the Police Service has shown us the extent to which it is incompetent. The lawyer and his client, a bodaboda rider were threatened with death by the same Policeman who was being prosecuted by the State for shooting the bodaboda rider. They reported the threat to the police. No action was taken.

Why was a Policeman who was accused, by the State itself, of shooting an unarmed man allowed to continue with his duties even as the matter was ongoing in court?
Why didn’t the Police take the death threat seriously, yet it had come from a man accused of what would qualify as an attempted murder?

After it became clear that the three had been disappeared, the IG of Police was informed, and lawyers even demonstrated at the IG’s office. Finally, the bodies of the three were found in a river, by ordinary citizens.
How difficult is it for the police to find culprits of a kidnapping when there is only one obvious suspect? One who is clearly not so bright? One whose full information they can easily find?

 Isn’t it clear that if the villagers had not discover those bodies, or if the Killer police had disposed the bodies of differently, then we would still be talking of a "kidnapping" today?

2. Faith in the Police service and anarchy
The Mavoko 3 were arrested at a road-stop mounted by the Police, who went ahead and kidnapped them and tortured them to death.

Going forward, how should Taxi drivers and Kenyans in general behave when they see Police road blocks ahead? Should they stop? Should they run? Should they panic?
If the police stop you in the streets, should you stop? Should you run? Should you fight them? If they arrest you, what should you do? Resist arrest? Search for toilet papers to write on? Panic to death?

How else can we regain the little confidence (in being stopped or being arrested, safely) that we had, if the big bosses do not show responsibility by resigning?
If the big bosses had reacted to put an end to the illegal arrests that are committed by the Police all over the country on a daily basis (where you are released on giving a bribe, or you are charged with funny misdemeanors), wouldn’t the three, maybe, be alive today?

If you are a lawyer, would you involve yourself in cases of victims of Police brutality or illegal arrests?
If you are a victim of Police brutality or illegal arrest, will you find lawyers to represent you in court? Should you even risk your life by reporting or following up the matter in the first place?

3. Extra-Judicial killings and torture
The region where the three were kidnapped is said to be the area where extra-judicial killings victims are taken for torture and (complete) disappearance.
Is it some coincidence that the Killer police kidnapped, tortured, murdered and tried to disappear the bodies of the three in this very region? I think not.

Numerous reports of torture in Police stations across the country have been reported to the NPSC, IPOA and to the Police themselves and nothing happens. When it comes to torture, these Mavoko Police are not rogue Police. They are ordinary Police.

The fact that the car that the Mavoko 3 were arrested in was driven many kilometers from the kidnapping scene so as to cause confusion may confirm that the Police have a hand in the disappearances that we have heard of in the past. The script is the same.

Maybe the IG of Police knew that the three had already been executed by his own men & women, and most likely maybe he was trying to save face for the Police Service and that is why he did not address the lawyers when they visited his office. Unfortunately for him, the three victims had sent out an SOS from the cell, and some villagers had bothered to know what the bags in the river were carrying.

The fact that the Police Service failed to suspend the killer Policeman when he first shot the Bodaboda rider;
the fact that the Police Service failed to suspend the killer Policeman when they themselves charged him with shooting the Bodaboda rider;
the fact that the police failed to suspend the killer Policemen & women when they fabricated charges against their own victim so that he would not give testimony in court;
the fact that the Police failed to take action on a very clear death threat;
the fact that the IG either had no idea that the three had been murdered, or actually knew that they had been murdered but chose to shield the police;
the fact that Kenyans are now afraid, and they don’t know what to do when threatened, stopped or arrested by the Police;
the fact that the three were tortured before being murdered;
the fact that these killings were carried out in an extrajudicial killing zone, in extrajudicial fashion by known Police from the area,

means that someone high up must resign, or be sacked, if for nothing else, just so that Kenyans may regain the very little faith that they had in the Police Service.

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