As we live under curfew rule, the number of police brutality has increased tremendously, where officers have been reported victimising citizens in public.
A number of citizens are being admitted in hospitals for injuries and others losing their beloved ones from this inhumanity.
In March last year, when the first case of the deadly coronavirus disease was reported in the country, President Uhuru Kenyatta has repeatedly imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in a bid to curb its spread.
The directive has, however, caused pain to the public as police officers were spotted clubbing and bludgeoning unarmed civilians for violating the curfew.
The society is in great grief. The conduct of the police is exasperating, bearing in mind that it is their duty to protect our lives. A week ago, in Embu County, two brothers, aged 19 and 22, were found dead after being arrested by police during curfew hours. At the burial, the bereaved family and mourners demanded justice.
In under a week, an incident was reported in Nakuru County, whereby a boda boda rider’s body was found in a well after he had been arrested for violating the curfew. It was reported that the deceased’s belt and shoe were found in a police station.
Yet another case was reported on Wednesday night. Police officers allegedly badly beat up a man whom they had accused of violating the curfew, leaving him for dead in the darkness. This shows how Kenyans are harassed in the name of enforcing the curfew.
The Police Act, Chapter 84, stipulates that a police officer shall not subject any person to torture or any other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The law clearly stipulates the rights of the citizens but, since a large number are not well-informed about the law while others are illiterate, the law is supine on victims of police brutality.
Now the question in everyone’s mind is, till when will Kenyans be unsafe outdoors? When will justice prevail for the poor?
However, several agencies are mandated with the role of tackling the vice. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) should take actions on those officers who violate human rights.
There is a need for all agencies, especially Ipoa, to keenly review the conduct of police. Those officers found guilty of brutality should be promptly punished in accordance with the law. The agencies will have to review their approach to addressing cases of police brutality.
Police brutality should be eradicated in Kenya. Our legislators should table a bill in Parliament capping the period when investigations and trials should be concluded. That will bring relief to the aggrieved and reassure those at risk of losing their loved ones at the hands of police.
Francis Mwaura, Narok