The Independent Policing Oversight Authority has decried the state of the National police service, after an incident on Monday at Kayole police station in Nairobi, where an IPOA investigator was harassed by the station’s OCPD Mr. Ali Nuno.
The incident has raised sharp criticism from various quarters, including the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, given that the OCPD threatened the IPOA officer with his official firearm, before ordering that he and his colleague be detained in the cells.
Addressing the issue before the press, the Chairman of IPOA board Macharia Njeru said that the issue lies with the police force.
“The highest police leadership refuses to change and while it projects an image of transforming the police service, the reality is that it is business as usual,” he said.
He added that the so-called transformation being undertaken is barely scratching the surface and is at best a public relations exercise.
The IPOA board chairman said that the operations of the oversight authority have been hampered time and time again, by directives from the Inspector General of police and that no investigations on police officers should be carried out by IPOA unless authorized by his office.
He has further directed that IPOA officers should not be allowed access to any police premises without his authority.
“This is in spite of the powers bestowed on IPOA under the express provisions of the IPOA Act and the National Police Service Act.” said Macharia.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has condemned the action and called for immediate disciplinary and criminal sanctions against the OCPD.
“The commission urges the Inspector General of Police to immediately take stern disciplinary action against Mr. Nuno, and in particular, to divest him of his firearm which is, as he clearly demonstrated is in unsafe hands and could be used with irreparable lethal consequences against the Kenyan Citizens,” said George Morara, KNCHR Chairperson.
He highlighted the fact that the police yet again has failed to deal with another gaping issue, given that there are other challenges that haven’t been handled in the country’s police force.
“The commission is particularly concerned about the continuing challenges that the National Police Service has failed to adequately address,” said Morara, “These include rampant corruption, high crime rate, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions.”