20 April 2018

Kenya: Top Cop in Trouble Over Woman's Slapping Incident At His Station

Mathira West police commander Kiptoo Birgen has been interdicted after a man was filmed slapping a woman in full glare of police officers at a police station.

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet also ordered "full inquiry into the assault," following the incident recorded at Kiamariga police station on Wednesday.

Mr Birgen, a senior superintendent of police, is the Officer Commanding the Police Division (OCPD) and all stations in the area, including Kiamariga, fall under his command. The stations are headed by Chief Inspectors.

Mr Boinnet gave the order in Mombasa where security chiefs are meeting members of the parliamentary committee on National Security and Administration. Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang'i is leading the security team in the talks.

The man was captured on video slapping an election observer during Ruguru Ward by-election. He was arrested on Thursday but freed after posting a Sh 10,000 bail.

Man arrested for slapping election observer bailed out - VIDEO

After he was freed, the beleaguered OCPD was defensive: "We tried to contain the situation as much as we could. This morning, we arrested the suspect. He was able to post bail," he said.

He said they are waiting for the victim, Ms Martha Miano, to submit a P3 report before charging the suspect.

Before his arrest, leaders in the county, led by Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, condemned the incident and faulted the police for their slow response.

The woman was assaulted at Kiamariga Police Station as police officers watched but the attacker managed to leave the station without being arrested.

Mr Kahiga on Thursday morning said violence should not be tolerated in a democratic country.

VOTER BRIBERY

"I condemn the incident in Kiamariga Police Station where a female election observer was roughed up by known people and demand that action be taken against the individuals caught on camera perpetrating violence," said the county boss in a statement.

The suspect attacked Ms Martha allegedly after she raised concerns of voter bribery.

She was slapped and roughed up by man who wanted to eject her from the station on grounds that she was a campaigner for one of the candidates in the by-election.

Nyeri MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said incident was shameful and had tainted the county's image, insisting that Jubilee Party abhors violence.

The lawmaker wondered why police officers at Kiamariga Police Station failed to arrest the suspect on the spot.

Mr Ngunjiri, who is also a member of the National Assembly's Administration and National Security Committee, said MPs will investigate the laxity displayed by the officers.

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