Kenya should rely on constitution to eradicate police crimes, IPOA
Kenya should stick to the rule of law in order to ensure the eradication of police crimes, Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has urged.
In an interview with Citizen TV on Wednesday, November 2, Commissioner John Waiganjo reiterated the need to adhere to constitutional provisions as a way of ridding the country’s security agencies of criminal elements.
“We have a very progressive Constitution in this country. And I don’t think we need more security laws. We need concerted efforts to follow the laws that we have formed. To go by the law. to go by the book. Because even those special units that we are talking about, if the law is followed, then we would not be having this discussion,” Waiganjo said.
Waiganjo’s remarks came as the country is still engulfed in deep discussions on the true extent of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances committed over the years.
So far, nine police officers formerly attached to the now disbanded Special Services Unit are in detention awaiting a court ruling on an application made by prosecutors to detain them for 30 days as investigations continue into their alleged involvement in the abduction and disappearance of two Indian nationals and a Kenyan.
The nine were arrested in October following calls by multiple human rights defender organizations to ensure accountability regarding the SSU’s involvement in police crimes.
Also speaking at the interview alongside Waiganjo, the Campaign Manager at Amnesty International, Demas Kiprono, appealed for the depoliticization of policing in Kenya.
“We need police officers to serve us and not the regime,” he said.
“Police officers should use their training, their policing direction from Parliament and the Executive to guard us,” he added.
Waiganjo also pointed out that IPOA is confident 15 high-ranking police officers will soon take plea in the case on Baby Samantha Pendo murder in 2017.
The IPOA Commissioner also used the opportunity to rally the country’s leadership to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
He pointed out that ratifying that Convention would place Kenya under the tenets of the treaty, which would help eradicate extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.