Kenyans have heaped praise on a police officer who resisted the urge to shoot dead two suspected carjackers on Wednesday at Westlands area.
Joash Ombati of police force Number 234433 was going for lunch at 13:40 when he saw a man being thrown out of a moving vehicle screaming for help- “wezi wezi”, a Swahili word for thieves.
Immediately, Joash called a taxi that was parked nearby and gave the suspected robbers a chase, trailed them, leading to their arrest.
Joash fired in the air to disperse a surging crowd. His action was also meant to slow down the suspected robbers. He managed to intercept the vehicle at the junction of Westlands and Mpaka road in a dramatic arrest that left the robbers begging for mercy and a crowd that had surged- baying for their blood.
The crowd that gathered following the arrest wanted the officer to kill the two suspects, but he resisted.
“When I was doing my training, I was told if someone has surrendered I should not kill that person,” Joash told Missing Voices.
According to a police report filed at Gigiri station, police officers from Parklands proceeded to the scene and established that one Amos Charo Saro from Voi wanted to buy cheap construction material from the people he had interacted with on OLX.
“They then took him to Westlands where they boarded a vehicle with the intention of taking him where the materials were to meet a businessman only identified as Patel.
“Instead, they took the money while driving and threw him out of the vehicle and drove off near NIC bank,” the police report says.
“Apc Ombati saw as he was on guard duties at the said bank and gave chase. Recovered was Kshs 400,000/- though the reportee alleges to have given out Kshs 732,000/- for the materials.”
Ombati told Missing Voices that he has no interest in money but being recognised for doing his job well.
“I don’t want money if I did I would have taken the 400,000 after arresting the two and disappear with the money,” Ombati said.
Police say they recovered a white vehicle KBJ 614H.
“Two suspects identified as Sameer Abdulaziz Kassim and Peter Kavoi Musili were arrested. Both are being held at Parklands police station to be charged with robbery with violence,” a police report says.
Reacting to the dramatic arrest, and botched robbery, Kenyans on social media praised Joash for his courage that led to the arrest of the two. Others called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to give the officer a state commendation.
“He was brave enough and he deserves HSC award on Mashujaa Day,” said one Facebook user.
Police officers are only allowed to shoot suspects if their safety is not guaranteed.
The Sixth Schedule of the National Police Service Act [Sections 61(2), Act No. 11 of 2014, explains circumstances under which an officer is allowed by the law to shoot a suspect.
The NPS Act was passed into law in 2011 effectively repealing the previous law.
The schedule states that a police officer shall always attempt to use non-violent means first and force may only be employed when non-violent means are ineffective or without any promise of achieving the intended result.
Secondly, the schedule says the force used shall be proportional to the objective to be achieved, the seriousness of the offence, and the resistance of the person against whom it is used, and only to the extent necessary while adhering to the provisions of the law and the Standing Orders.
When the use of force results in injuries— the police officers present shall provide medical assistance immediately and unless there are good reasons, failing to do so shall be a criminal offence; and
Such an officer shall notify relatives or close friends of the injured or affected persons.
A police officer who uses any form of force shall immediately, report to the officers’ superior explaining the circumstances that necessitated the use of force and the supervisor shall judge the rightfulness and decide on the next step, subject to these regulations.
Any use of force that leads to death, serious injury and other grave consequences shall be reported immediately by the officer in charge or another direct superior of the person who caused the death or injury, to the Independent Police Oversight Authority who shall investigate the case.