Residents decry police misconduct in Githurai 44, laud disbanding of the killer squad
By Missing Voices Team
Youths in Githurai 44 have protested harassment and intimidation by police officers.
They spoke during a community dialogue organized by Githurai Social Justice Centre, Kasarani Social Justice Centre and International Justice Mission(IJM)and attended by actors in the Criminal Justice System.
Among those who attended the dialogue at Githurai 44 CDF social hall were representatives from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP), National Police Service,(NPS) Independent Policing Oversight Authority,(IPOA) Witness Protection Unit(WPA) Internal Affairs Unit(IAU), Makadara court users committee and Missing Voices.
The event was aimed at strengthening relationships between the community especially the youth and the CJS actors.
The forum allowed the residents to air their grievances as well as benefit from free legal aid.
A youth who sought anonymity told Missing ices how officers from Githurai 44 harass them.
“They whip you from the back as early as 6 PM and force you to go indoors yet there is no curfew,” he said.
Another youth said an officer asked him to produce a gun. “I told him I do not have a gun but he threatened to deal with me. Many youths have previously been killed by the same officers.” The youth said.
An officer threatened to crush the private parts of an official of the Githurai Social Justice Centre should the centre continue highlighting police brutality in the area. “I am living in fear as an officer well known to me threatened to crush my balls just as today’s event was ongoing.” The official told Missing Voices.
Nairobi police commander James Mugera did not respond to our inquiries on the allegations by the youth by press time.He did not respond to our text messages.
Airing their complaints before the forum, residents also accused officers from neighbouring Githurai 45 in Kiambu county of harassing youths in Githurai 44 which is in Nairobi county.
“They should stick to their jurisdiction. We will stage a major demonstration once a new Inspector General of police takes office.” Said a resident.
Responding to the complaints,the incharge Githurai 44 police post urged the residents to report and file complaints with his office adding that they are committed to serving the residents as per the law.
“No one should be charged to get a P3 form,” he responded when questioned as to why the officers were demanding payment.
The residents also got an opportunity to learn about the mandate of IPOA, WPA, IAU and WPA and how they can get assistance when in need.
The youths as well as residents lauded president William Ruto’s decision to disband a killer squad based at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters known as the Special Services Unit, SSU. The unit was directly answerable to former DCI chief George Kinoti.
The president while making the announcement in Kericho on October 1 6, said the unit was to blame for ramxpant police killings and enforced disappearances of citizens.