Kenyans must not allow police to become executioners, MP Yusuf says
Kenyans cannot give poilicemen the freewill to become executioners in their policing work, but rather insist on adherence to the tenets of the Constitution, Kamukunji Member of Parliament Yusuf Hassan Abdi has said.
Abdi made the remarks in a panel interview with NTV, where he stressed the need to steward the National Police Service away from unconstitutional acts.
“I am completely opposed to giving our police force a black cheque to execute people, to kill whoever they suspect of criminal activities,” he told the panel.
“We are a modern democracy. We have a constitution. We have a law. Extrajudicial killings and Enforced Disappearances present a grave affront to the Constitution and the administration of justice in our country. They are criminal activities on their own, although they have been done by the police and the officers in uniform. Killing a person who has not gone through the due process of the law is a criminal act by itself.”
The legislator went ahead to give an example of a terror attack that he survived years back, but killed eight people.
He said that despite living with the impact of that attack every day, he would not wish for a blanket punishment for the perpetrators without following the due process of the law.
The MP further pointed out that police crimes are most often planned prior, with no consideration whatsoever of going by the rule book.
“There are standing orders. There are rules that allow the police to act in particular ways to maintain law and order. Law enforcement. But if you look at extrajudicial killings, 99 percent of extrajudicial killings are planned and deliberately ordered by the authorities on people who have not been caught in the act. A lot of the young people who were killed in my neighborhood were not caught in the act. They were taken out of their homes and executed by police officers,” he said.
“We have a judicial system. We have laws and magistrates. Use that process. Don’t give an individual policeman the authority to kill whoever they want. If there is a situation that determines the use of force, there are standing orders and regulations,” he added.
The experienced legislator warned Kenyans against pushing for stronger powers for the police beyond those prescribed by the Constitution.
He noted that while the acts may not affect an individual now, they would impact them in the future.
“The police must respect human rights and they should abide by the law,” he reiterated.