Kenya: IG Mutyambai Answers Kenyans' Questions on Police Attacks

A trend in which irate civilians attack police stations after officers use excessive force on civilians has both top police bosses and the public worried.

On Monday, the issue formed part of the live discussion segment between Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai and Kenyans on Twitter via hash tag #EngageTheIG.

One Twitter use told the IG, "Are you worried about the rising cases of unruly crowds when police officers apprehend individuals found breaking laws and turning against officers to the extent of burning a police station? Its total anarchy in this country. Things are getting worse."

RECENT INCIDENTS

The question was in connection to Sunday night's torching of sections of Rioma Police Station in Kisii County by residents protesting the alleged killing of a businessman by a police officer after a disagreement over hand sanitiser.

Locals said the officer accused the man of selling him substandard sanitiser before shooting him.

The incident happened barely two weeks after a mob attacked Lesos Police Station in Nandi East Sub-County in protest over the shooting of a man by a police officer.

The officers involved in both incidents have since been suspended from the service, with the IG maintaining that police officers have responsibility to protect every individual and their property as well as State property.

"The law stipulates the circumstances when police are justified to use their firearms. As the IG, I will support officers who use their firearms justifiably to protect lives and property as stipulated in law," tweeted Mr Mutyambai.

He added, however, that officers are allowed to have live ammunition to deter extreme violators of the law since not all protesters are peaceful.

"Police officers have been trained on justifiable circumstances when they may use their firearms. I will therefore not take any excuse from officers who abuse their authority or misuse their firearms," said the IG.

CORRUPTION

The interactive segment that lasted one hour also had the police boss address questions on corruption at the service, the Urithi Housing Cooperative property scandal and other matters.

He asked Kenyans to play their parts in helping the country get rid of "the few rogue elements" that are tainting the image of the service.

"I reiterate that no one should offer bribes to any person, including a police officer. Those who offer bribes definitely commit a crime. Officers who take bribes are definitely punished. Report incidences to the Internal Affairs Unit, the EACC or Ipoa," the IG said.

"Support us to get rid of bad officers but at the same time let's appreciate the majority who are doing a good job," added the IG.

Regarding Urithi, Mr Mutyambai urged the aggrieved parties to share pending issues for forwarding to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI). He noted that the matter is already in court.

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