Police are biggest beneficiaries of this busy public body, IPOA hits back.
By Missing Voices Reporter
Published December 17,2022
“Holding the members of the National Police Service accountable is not fault-finding or a witch hunt but it simply seeks to answer – what happened? Why did it happen? Was it avoidable? Can we prevent it in future?
And finally, was there ill motive?” Anne Makori.
THE Independent Police Oversight Authority(IPOA) has called out the Inspector General of police Japhet Koome for referring to the agency as a busy body and giving a shoot to kill order against suspected criminals.
On December 16, Koome said guns are not pens for writing and ordered police to use their guns against suspected criminals.
In a statement to newsrooms on December 17, IPOA chair person Anne Makori raised concerns with Koome’s utterances.
Makori has termed Koome’s order to police unconstitutional. “Our attention is drawn to the unfortunate and dangerous statement attributed to the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome yesterday where he gave police officers a shoot to kill order against suspected criminals.”
She said, “On his part, the Inspector General in his swearing-in speech on 11th November 2022, acknowledged that 98 percent of police officers are good while the remaining two percent needed to be rehabilitated with the support of institutions such as IPOA.”
Makori said it is in the spirit of Koome’s pledge that IPOA continues to commit to the execution of its mandate.
She reiterated the agency was busy improving the relationship between the police and citizens but is not a busy body.
“The ten years the Authority has been in existence, rightfully, it has been busy,ultimately to ensure that Kenyans have confidence in the men and women in uniform who they entrust their lives and property on a daily basis.” IPOA boss said.
Koome’s order contradicts president William Ruto’s assurance on October 31 on prosecution of rogue police officers involved in extrajudicial killings.
Makori said Article 239 (5) of the Constitution of Kenya determines that all national security organs are subordinate to civilian authority.
She said,”Arising from this, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority was established in 2011, to give effect to the provisions of Article 244 of the Constitution which requires the Police to strive for professionalism and discipline.
Makori said the law requires police officers to promote and practice transparency and accountability to the public in the performance of their functions.
She said the law was established after a period of unchecked police excesses.
“The Authority shall investigate any death or serious injury; including death or serious injury while in police custody, which are the result of police action or were caused by members of the Service while on duty.” the IPOA boss said.
Makori said IPOA has since it’s establishment a decade ago benefited members of the National Police Service.
According to the chairperson, goodies from IPOA to police include; Policy formulation that saw a recommendation that allowed the police to live within communities which has led to crime reduction.
Makori also said IPOA helped to establish a functional Internal Affairs Unit as well as informing acquisition of police vehicles for rapid response and officer safety in operations.
IPOA also boasts being part of instituting a police kitty including specialised gear to protect police officers. The agency spearheaded provision of Authority to Incur Expenses for Station Commanders.
Other contributions by the agency include psychological support for traumatized officers through the “Mwamko Mpya-Healing the
Uniformed”, contributing to improved and cleaner holding facilities in police stations,promotion of police service excellence and professionalism through running an outstanding Police Service Awards (OPSA).
Makori said holding the members of the National Police Service accountable is not fault-finding or a witch hunt but it simply seeks to answer – what happened? Why did it happen? Was it avoidable? Can we prevent it in future? And finally, was there ill motive?
“These questions are well captured in Section 24 of the IPOA Act. In subsection 7, it says: “The Authority shall during an investigation consider the—
(a) circumstances which, if present during the incident under investigation, impede the
effectiveness of policing; and
(b) unlawful action, if any, taken by the complainant, the victim or any other person present during the incident under investigation.” IPOA chief said.