What you need to know:
- Hannington Ouma Otieno, a dedicated member of the community policing committee in Nakuru West found himself fighting for his own life amidst suspicions of sabotage from rogue police elements colluding with criminals.
- The height of the sabotage was Ouma's controversial arrest last week and detention at Kaptembwo Police Station for over eight hours.
Hannington Ouma Otieno, a dedicated member of the community policing committee in Nakuru West, has devoted his life to fighting crime in the region.
His selfless service has helped uncover major criminal operations and apprehend notorious criminals, earning him praise from both security players and residents.
However, recent events have taken a disturbing turn, with Ouma finding himself fighting for his own life amidst suspicions of sabotage from rogue police elements colluding with criminals.
The height of this sabotage was Ouma's controversial arrest last week and detention at Kaptembwo Police Station for over eight hours. This occurred after he led the police in arresting a notorious criminal named Magufuli, a member of the dreaded Confirm gang, who had escaped police custody.
Ouma's instrumental role in the previous arrest had caused panic among security operators in the region.
In an interview with Nation.africa, Ouma recounted the events leading to Magufuli's arrest.
“I first saw him on Monday before I alerted the committee chairperson, who advised me to trail him. I then spotted him in Soko Mjinga area, and when I called the area chairman, he told me to keep him busy as he calls the police,” Ouma recalled.
To apprehend Magufuli, Ouma engaged him in a seemingly casual setting, buying him a drink at a local bar.
When the police arrived to effect the arrest, the bar owner, allegedly one of the notorious illicit liquor suppliers, arrived with armed goons, attacking and stabbing him close to his left eye.
Despite being rescued by the police, Ouma reportedly faced further challenges at Kaptembwo Police station.
A police inspector stationed at the Petty Crimes desk, allegedly refused to book his complaint, leading Ouma to seek the intervention of Sub-county police boss Francis Wahome.
He claims he also discovered that the bar owner was not brought to the station, raising concerns about collusion.
His ordeal continued when he was assaulted by three officers who confiscated his documents and threatened him.
Despite reporting the incident, he faced further aggression from the police officers, culminating in his arrest.
“The officer who declined to book my complaint brandished a pistol at me, threatening to shoot me before manhandling me to the station and locking me in the cells,” Ouma claimed.
He spent at least eight hours behind bars before being released on free bond and being given a date to report back on December 15.
Expressing his frustration, Ouma said that the Community Policing Committee's work has been greatly hindered by rogue police officers colluding with criminals.
He also questioned the fairness of being taken to the cells where many suspects and criminals he helped arrest are held.
Corruption is rampant within the police service, he said, particularly in the Nakuru West area, where some officers allegedly receive bribes from criminals involved in phone snatching, robbery with violence, and the production of illicit liquor.
Certain criminals reportedly enjoy protection from senior officers at the station, making them untouchable.
The community policing committee Secretary Ambrose Oyugi confirmed the sabotage, saying: “The collusion between the officers and the criminal is subjecting our lives to risk and watering down our efforts. The insecurity menace that we have worked hard to contain is slowly creeping back.”
Mr Wahome acknowledged Ouma's crucial role in fighting crime but noted police are investigating an assault complaint against him.
While recognizing the possibility of rogue elements within the police service, the area police boss said efforts are ongoing to root them out.
Nakuru County Commissioner Loyford Kibaara assured investigations have been initiated into the complaints against the police officers.
The administrator regretted the frustration caused by officers who continue to impede policing efforts and explained that earlier changes and transfers affected senior officers, with plans underway to address issues involving junior officers.