IG’s remarks on police use of firearms unconstitutional.
Missing Voices condemns in the strongest terms possible the unlawful declaration by the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome encouraging police officers to use their weapons, as well as his unwarranted condemnation of IPOA.
Koome’s remarks cast a fog on the parameters of gun use in police operations, a matter the Police Act sought to address. It also risks hindering police accountability, an important aspect of policing.
Police officers, like any other public servant, are duty-bound to stick to the Rule of Law when discharging their duties.
The remarks were in contravention of the sixth schedule of National Police Service Act, that 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.
The IG’s remarks are in bad taste and coming on the same day the High Court ruled that Police officers cannot use their firearms unless they are acting in self-defence or preventing an imminent threat to life or serious injury to others.
Missing Voices would like to remind the IG that he took an oath pledging to work within the confines of the law. We urge him to respect the oath fully to protect Kenyans, both from criminals and rogue police elements that may want to use his declaration only to serve brutality.
IPOA is an independent institution created to provide oversight to the police. Bwana IG, respect IPOA and allow the authority space to serve Kenyans by ensuring accountability for rogue police. For many Kenyans who have been victims of police brutality, IPOA symbolizes hope for justice and closure.