Kenya: Kinoti Says Firearms in Citizen TV Expose Not From Police, Summons Editors and Reporter

One of the weapons surrendered to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations by Citizen TV, following an exposé on illegal weapons, as pictured during a press conference by DCI boss George Kinoti on April 20.

Nairobi — The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has come out to defend the police from allegations that a section of them have been hiring their uniforms, firearms, and handcuffs to criminals following a Citizen TV expose.

DCI Director George Kinoti on Tuesday said a ballistic examination of the arms acquired by the Citizen TV investigative Reporter Purity Mwambia, had established that they do not belong to the police.

"We would want to note that none of the guns submitted by Royal Media Services belong to the National Police Service," he said, adding that the service can "credibly account for each and every firearm held by our officers who work day and night to keep the country safe."

The Citizen TV broadcast an expose at the weekend showing how a pistol, an AK47, a pair of handcuffs, two pairs of uniforms and other accessories were allegedly acquired from police officers through a criminal network.

In the expose, the Reporter featured one of the criminals who confessed to have killed several people, while revealing how rogue police officers hire out guns to them.

The Citizen reporter was seen acquiring handcuffs for as little as Sh1,000 while guns cost up to Sh50,000.

However, the reporter however, sad none of the guns in the expose were acquired from police. She said she acquired an AK47 from northern Kenya and had it transported to the station's offices in Nairobi while a pistol was acquired from a military officer in Nairobi.

"The report seemed to be a malicious attempt to discredit the National Police Service; we can only conclude that it was aimed at creating public pandemonium over the management of the security sector," the DCI said, when he displayed the firearms and police uniforms that were surrendered to them by the Citizen TV crew.

The military is yet to respond to the claims.

Kinoti said the station's top officials and the reporter will be summoned to record statements over the matter.

"AK47 is a prohibited firearm and should not be with civilians. Kenyans should help us ensure these firearms are completely eliminated from the wrong hands. Those who had possession of these firearms are the ones who know where they came from," he said, terming the expose an "abuse of media freedom" and that it was "aimed at humiliating the National Police Service (NPS)."

"We note in dismay that no effort whatsoever was made to reach the National Police Service or any Government official in the security sector for their right of reply; to provide clarity or place the matter in proper context , even though the compilation of the report is said to have begun more than a year ago," Kinoti said.

The DCI boss added that, "the attempts to tarnish the entire service are contemptuous and undermine the efforts made by over 100,000 police officers who workday and night to keep the country safe."

Earlier lobby groups under the Police Reforms Working Group called for an independent national audit of police armoury system of movement of firearms and ammunition within the police service.

"The Police Reforms Working Group (PRWG-K) strongly condemns these criminal activities within the security sector, which undoubtedly degrade safety and security across the country," the group said in a statement on Monday.

The lobby also wants the police Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) to conduct investigations of the alleged police misconduct with a view of bringing the culprits to book.

According to the exposé, a section of rogue police officers have been hiring their uniform, handcuffs, and guns to criminals.

The organizations said such incidents consequently degrade the safety of Kenyans across the country since the weapons are used to commit crimes.

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