Ruto sets tone for year of closing chapter on police killings
“There will be no extrajudicial killings in the government of Kenya, under my administration,” President William Ruto said in his first major engagement with media since the turn of the year.
The President’s message, as clear as he put it, lays the foundation for what is now expected to be a year of reversals for the country, putting a much needed end to police brutality, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.
Missing Voices took note of the president’s pledge, and hope it can be actualized with the help of government security agencies that have long harbored rogue elements that meted suffering and death to civilians.
It is now fully upon the top officers within the National Police Service to ensure that the president’s desire to eradicate police killings and enforced disappearances comes to fruition.
As an example, President Ruto singled out former Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti for his inaction over civilian deaths and wanton dumping of bodies across the country.
“Thirty bodies in Yala, 17 in Garissa.. there was a container here at Nairobi Area where people were being slaughtered, in a police station…how did we end up there? What kind of rogue institution was that?” Ruto wondered.
“That is why I fired that Kinoti man, because it’s not right. There will be responsibility,” he added.
The president revealed that he had met top police officials and agreed with them that all police operations have to be conducted within the confines of the law.
“That is a chapter we must close and put behind us,” Ruto said.
Wondering into recent debate on use of guns, Ruto noted that operating within the law included protecting themselves. While he acknowledged that the police are allowed to use their weapons in certain instances, he reiterated that such action must be limited to defending themselves against armed criminals when needed.
Missing Voices echoes the president’s message. We remind all police officers to adhere strictly to the tenets of the Sixth Schedule of the National Police Service Act, which states the conditions as to the use of force and firearms.
We hope the tone set by the president can be the springboard for a peaceful 2023 for Kenya, occasioned by the respect of the rule of law by the police.