7 April 2014

Kenya: Don't Fear Using Your Guns, Kimaiyo Tells Officers

Photo: Kenya Military
Part of the Westgate mall that was raided by armed militia in Nairobi (file photo).

Nairobi — Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo has now told police officers not to fear using their firearms whenever confronted with justifiable situations in the course of their work. The police chief said the government will always defend its officers "because they are given firearms to use and not to be carried around for the sake of it."

"The National Police Service Act says clearly that you are justified to use your firearm effectively and you have no control over where the firearm will hit. Your aim is to disable."

"These are clear in the law so do not be scared by some quarters that you have been given orders to shoot to kill. Even if today I have been given orders, it is me to make the decision while using the firearm. If I am not justified to use it, I can decide to catch him without using that power," Kimaiyo explained.

Kimaiyo said the use of firearms is clearly outlined in the Constitution which shall be used to defend officers at all times whenever there are complaints.

"The public knows very well that they are being taxed by the government to enable us to buy the firearms. Its purpose is protecting life and property, you must effectively use the firearm and you are justified to do so," he added.

Interior Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo echoed Kimaiyo, saying that the government was fully behind the officers in the decisions they take as they fight crime.

"Officers should not be worried that you will be taken to court because of dealing with a dangerous criminal. Someone has grenades, a gun (and) you are worried, you can't (shoot)," he emphasised.

Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa recently issued a shoot to kill order soon after the Likoni church attack that killed six people in Mombasa drawing criticism from none other than Kimaiyo.

"Nobody in this country is authorised to shoot-to-kill whether it is a law enforcement officer. Due process of the law must be followed; an officer may be justified to use his official firearm when his life is in imminent danger," Kimaiyo said last month.

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