IPOA to investigate extra-judicial killings during curfew enforcement

Written By: Serfine Achieng

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has set in motion investigations into suspected cases of extra-judicial executions committed since the curfew was enforced by the state due to Covid-19.

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According to IPOA, fifteen deaths have so far been brought into its attention amid numerous complaints serious injury inflicted by members of the police service.

The probe includes the much-publicized killing of a homeless man in Mathare area of Nairobi this week.

This comes after the death of a middle-aged man popularly known as “Vaite” in Mathare after he was executed while sleeping on the pavements when he was reportedly shot dead by police officers who were enforcing curfew order.

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The gruesome murder of the homeless man became a trending topic on social media soon after it was posted by activist Boniface Mwangi, attracting the rage of Kenyans who condemned the murder.

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IPOA through a statement said that it had dispatched Rapid Response teams to establish the circumstances that led to this and other fatalities recorded since the dusk to dawn curfew began.

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Latest incidents include two fatalities within Katanin Village, Kabiyet Sub-County, Nandi County on May 29, 2020, the fatal shooting of three family members in Kwale on May 30, 2020, as well as shooting of a woman at a police roadblock in Emali on May 31, 2020.

The Authority says that it has received 87 complaints against police officers since March 27, 2020, when heightened security measures were put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19 pandemic and in particular, the dusk to dawn curfew.

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The complaints include (CG) deaths, shootings, harassment, assaults resulting in serious injuries, robbery, inhuman treatment and sexual assault.

According to preliminary investigations, 15 deaths and 31 incidents where victims sustained injuries have directly been linked to actions of police officers during the curfew enforcement.

All cases are at different stages of investigations.

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