New police plot to cover up killings and cases of brutality?
Monday 3rd April, 2023
Kenyan Police may have hatched a plot to cover up cases of police brutality and killings if a report by The Nation is anything to go by.
In the report published on Sunday, April 2, the media outlet alleges with insider information that the police will no longer release information on deaths, injuries and damage to property arising from the opposition protests, following an order sent out from Police Headquarters to all Regional Commanders.
The order advises commanders to use communication channels that can only be accessed by a few high-ranking officers, effectively throwing a blanket of information blackout to the rest of the country.
Police signals are often shared with the public and the media, and they help to verify and disseminate information from security agencies.
“…it’s advisable for you not to mention officers’ names after a serious encounter with not only riotous crowds but also criminals, lest it is used against us. Don’t use open files. Let’s have restricted access to confidential information via email,” The Nation quotes a part of the order shared on Friday.
An anonymously quoted officer who gave the tip-off expressed his concerns against the move, saying it spelled doom for police officers in instances that require accountability.
“They are now withholding information and will only later selectively issue statements saying bodies were found with bullet wounds. This is not good even for us in terms of accountability,” said the officer opposed to the move.
In the past week, widespread reports of police brutality flooded both mainstream and informal media platforms as officers cracked down on protesters.
Two people were shot dead in Kisumu and Migori Counties, with other cases of civilians hospitalized with gun wounds.
Human rights organizations, activists and media outlets have come out to condemn the incidents, including remarks by the top leadership of the police to declare the protests illegal without any Constitutional basis to do so.
Many critics blame the cases of police brutality and killings on the remarks by the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome to declare the protests illegal.
Missing Voices Coalition reiterates calls for police accountability in line with president William Ruto’s continuous assurances that his administration will respect the Constitution.
We urge the National Police Service to apprehend and prosecute the officers behind the deaths of the two protesters last week, and also bring all officers behind the destruction of property to book. Only this way will the affected families find some peace.