Missing Voices is greatly encouraged by the arrest and arraignment of police officer Emmanuel Abunya for the murder of Leeds University student Carilton Maina in Kibera Laina Saba in December 2018.
This is a big milestone in the fight against extrajudicial killings and police abuse of power. We want to commend the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) for investigating the case and Missing Voices Partners and the Police Reforms Working Group for tirelessly following up this case. We are encouraged by the public statement released by Directorate of Criminals Investigations (DCI) on Twitter announcing the arrest of the police officer on Wednesday.
Despite the 16 months that the case has taken before being taken to court, we are happy that the process of seeking justice for Maina has just started. Missing Voices will continue to follow up this case in court until justice is finally served for Carilton’s mother and her family. We ask that the court ensures their constitutional right to a fair hearing is respected and the witnesses are protected.
Even as we commend this effort by the police, IPOA and ODPP we are cognizant of the fact that many Kenyans killed by police officers are yet to find justice. Last year alone Missing Voices reported the killing of 107 civilians by police officers and only 10 of these cases resulted in police officers being arrested. In the first 100 days of this year, we have recorded 49 deaths in the hands of police.
All of these killings are yet to reach the corridors of justice and we are concerned at the time it takes to investigate these cases even where witnesses are available.
In January 2020, we witnessed the killing of innocent young men like 17-year-old Stephen Machurusi in Mwiki during a protest and 19-year-old Hemedi Majini in Majengo by police officers. Three people were killed after the burial of Hemedi with a child who was playing losing his sight after being shot at by a stray bullet.
During the curfew period, we have recorded police killings of eight Kenyans during the enforcement period. We are still waiting for Justice for;
• Calvince Omondi, 26, a boda boda rider killed in Oyugis on March 27, 2020.
• Erick Ng’ethe, 23, assaulted in by police and later died in Diani on April 1
• Hamisi Juma, 49, from Likoni who was assaulted and later died.
• Yassin Moyo, 13, shot on his parent’s balcony in Kiamaiko and later died
• Ramadhan Juma assaulted by officers enforcing the curfew and later died in Kakamega
• Idris Mukolwe: On April 7, 2020, Idris Mukolwe, a 45- year old tomato vendor, died after getting hit by a tear gas canister. The tear gas canister was thrown by security officers who were enforcing the ban on trade in Mumias town.
• Peter Gacheru: a 46-year old mitumba businessman, was found 15-minutes after curfew by police officers. He was beaten by the officers and later succumbed to his injuries
We also recorded the case of Vincent Oduor, a suspect in the Sh72 million heist whose death was recorded by an eyewitness.
Last year our hearts were broken by the killing of baby Dan Githinji during a raid by police officers in an illicit brew den. We also witnessed the killing of other innocent young men like Meru University student leader Evans Njoroge whose case is still dragging in court two years since the student was killed on February 27, 2018.
• The implementation of the National Coroner’s Act and the Prevention of Torture Act
• Establishment of a National Commission of inquiry into violations by security agents
• Reparations of victims and families of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances
• A public pronouncement by Inspector General of Police and Interior CS condemning police excesses.