Nairobi — The National Police Service has paid out Sh1 million to each family of 13 police officers killed by suspected Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) militia this year.
Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo said that the money was sourced from within the budgetary allocation for the police and had already been dispatched to all the families as a way of "condoling with them."
In a statement read by police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi, the IGP said the government was working on a comprehensive compensation package for the families.
"During the just concluded General Election, 13 officers were attacked and killed by members of the MRC. The government is working towards organising for death gratuity and other payments due to their next of kin. However, as these arrangements are underway, the service has organised and paid out a compassionate grant of Sh1 million each to the next of kin of the officers," Mwinyi said.
Six of the officers were shot dead on Election Day when suspected MRC militiamen attempted to raid a police station in Changamwe. The others were killed in related incidents earlier in the year.
Mwinyi however could not explain the rationale used to pay out the money to the officers bearing in mind that over 40 officers were killed last year while on a livestock recovery mission in Baragoi.
Numerous other policemen have died in the line of duty.
"This money did not come from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, it is money gotten from the resources within the police service to help the families of their colleagues. It is not compensation... it's a way in which the Inspector General wanted to fill the gap left for families," he emphasised.
"If we were to say that we will give every officer who dies a certain amount of money, we may not be able to do that and we do not want to appear to be one sided. If the IGP gets more money I don't think he will hesitate to do the same for any other officer who loses his life violently in the line of duty," added Mwinyi.
In Baragoi more than 40 officers were killed after they were ambushed by heavily armed cattle rustlers who understood the terrain better than the police deployed for a recovery operation.
Mwinyi said that compensation for the officers will be processed within the government's normal procedure for recompensing the next of kin of officers killed in the line of duty.
He added that he will pursue better terms of officers while in service and when they meet their untimely death. Kimaiyo said that he will further push for better medical cover and insurance for injury and deaths.
Lordrick is a graduate of the University of Nairobi with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. He is passionate about political and governance issues. He also takes keen interest in human rights matters, justice and is fond of sports.