19 December 2012

Kenya: Will Police Now Be Accountable?


THE High Court has convicted six Administrative Police officers of the murder of seven taxi drivers in Kawangware on March 11, 2010. A business dispute may have been the cause. AP officers allegedly owned some boda bodas whose riders had been clashing with local taxi drivers.

The AP spokesman immediately issued a statement that the AP officers had been ambushed by an armed gang and they were acting in self-defence. Somali swords and guns had been recovered. The officers concerned were being transferred

It sounded like another classic police cover-up was on the way. Nothing would ever happen, the story would soon be forgotten. Now miraculously the law has taken its course and the six AP officers have been found guilty of murder.

Congratulations are due to the police who investigated the case, to the prosecution for not deliberately fudging the case, and to the court for handing down a tough verdict.

The Kenyan police has become accustomed to literally getting away with murder, whether shooting robbers or extrajudicially executing Mungiki or civil society. The integrity of the police has become deeply corroded. Let us hope that yesterday's High Court ruling signifies that fundamental reform of the police is now finally underway.

Quote of the day: "These are the times that try men's souls" - Thomas Paine published his first 'American Crisis' essay on December 19, 1776

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