The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) and the Police Internal Affairs Unit have launched an investigation following the assault of Capital FM radio presenter Angela Muiruri over the weekend.
The radio presenter was among 21 women assaulted during a security operation in Nairobi’s Kileleshwa estate.
According to the former Miss Kenya-USA, she was in the company of her friends and were about to leave in order to beat the 10pm curfew when all hell broke loose.
More than a dozen police officers stormed the garden party and ordered everyone to sit down.
Ms Muiruri got most of the officers’ wrath after she questioned their actions and was left nursing injuries.
“My words made the officers mad because I was slapped, and when I continued to question them on why they mishandling women, one of the officers proceeded to whip me,” she said.
According to Ms Muiruri, the officers kept them at the parking lot way past curfew hours before being bundled into a waiting lorry at the gate and driven to Muthangari Police Station where they were booked, only to be freed at 4am, having parted with Sh1,000.
“We were, however, forced to sign a paper that indicated that we had been granted free bond for violating night curfew despite having paid Sh1,000 each,” Angela said.
A video of that night's events, which has since gone viral on social media, has caused an uproar, prompting Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to issue a statement denying allegations of police brutality.
On Monday, the IG issued a statement and said that the incident had nothing to do with enforcement of the curfew orders.
He said preliminary reports indicate that certain individuals were attending a night party within a residential estate causing disturbance to neighbors who reported the matter to the police for action.
“Police responded appropriately in order to address the issue and in the course of police addressing the complaint, some individuals got injured while trying to escape arrest,” he said.
The IG said those aggrieved by the incident should make formal complaints at the nearest police station.
“The National Police Service upholds the rule of law and does not condone any form of police excesses. I promise that the matter will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate action taken against those found culpable.”
The journalist says she can identify the police officer who assaulted her but in her pursuit of justice the following day, she says she was turned away from Kilelesha, Kilimani and Central Police Stations where officers were afraid of recording the incident on learning that it would implicate their senior.
The officer who was in charge of the operation has since been identified as Deputy Officer in charge of Operations in Nairobi, a Samuel Boit.
According to Police spokesperson Charles Owino, the officer has since been transferred pending an investigation.
“The officer who was in charge of that operation has so far been transferred just to pave way for investigations, because sometimes when someone is in the same office and there is a complaint of that magnitude, either the persons he was with might not be able to open up,” he said.
He did not say where Mr Boit was transferred to and how long the investigations might take.
On Monday, Edward Mbugua, the Deputy Inspector General in Charge of the Kenya Police took over the matter and facilitated her and other victims to record statements at KICC Police Station before she was escorted to obtain a P3.
Ms Muiruri suffered bruises on her lower limbs, according to a medical report from Nairobi Hospital, where she received treatment.
She said she would stop at nothing and was willing to face the officer who assaulted her in court.