8 November 2018

Kenya: City Cops Accused of 21-Day Killing Spree in Eastlands

Human rights groups have accused the police in Dandora, Huruma, Kayole and Mathare of extrajudicial killing of over 24 young men over the last 21 days.

Eastlands residents have however commended the police for their work and tactics, saying that the level of crime in their neighbourhoods demand a forceful response.

According to a local human rights organisations, those killed in the murder spree in October include 10 in Mathare North, six in Dandora, two in Mowlem, four in Majengo and two in Kayole.

STOP KILLINGS

Social Justice Centre and Police Reform Working Group called on the government to act swiftly and stop the killings.

However views of the public on how to deal with crime has left the community divided.

A mother of a young boy told NTV that she surrendered her son to the police and wants him locked until he turns 25.

"My son started stealing from the house and selling the house hold things. Sometimes he would also disappear for an entire week until it reached a point where he was being used and given guns to carry," said the mother who wanted her identity hidden because of her security.

She narrated how her son used to hide the guns in the house without anyone knowing.

"We would be sitting in the house and allover a sudden police show up in my house. After interrogation he would show them were the guns were and we would end up being locked together."

LETHAL FORCE

Mathare Social Justice Coordinator Gacheke Gachihi said the group wished to express their concern over the increasing incidences of death from police use of lethal force.

"Over the past one month, incidences of torture and extrajudicial executions implicating police officers have sharply risen yet they have been given all the resources they need to investigate first before killing any suspect," he said.

Gachihi, who read a joint statement during a press briefing at the Dandora Community Justice Centre on Wednesday, said the dreaded officers have been carrying out the executions in open places and in broad daylight. Some of them (police) are well-known to the residents.

The organisations have been documenting extrajudicial killings in the informal settlements and forwarding the cases to Independent Policing Oversight Authority for investigations and prosecution of the officers implicated in the killings.

SOME ARE STUDENTS

He said most of those killed are aged between 14 and 24; some are students, including KCSE candidates while others completed their secondary education less than three years ago.

He cited the killing of three students in Dandora on October 28 and that of a 25 year-old Evans Odhiambo, a mechanic who was picked from Mathare North Hospital on October 26 by armed police officers, only for for his lifeless body to be found at City mortuary with seven gunshot wounds the following day.

Police are yet to comment on the killings with as the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) launched investigations into the killing of people in different incidents by the police.

According to a statement released by Ipoa, six of those were shot and killed after they allegedly attacked and raped a woman in Dandora last week.

Speaking at Citizens JKL on Wednesday evening, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said that he had not seen the report of the killings.

"I have not seen that report and yes I admit there are instances when innocent Kenyans are killed by officers. It bothers me but some of those instances are based on false hood," said the IG.

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