We did not tell residents to kill suspects, says police boss after viral video
Nakuru County Police Commander Peter Mwanzo has defended the Bondeni police station boss over claims that he encouraged young people to take the law into their own hands during a recent security meeting.
Bondeni Police Station Commander (OCS) Gemenet Kimutai was captured in a viral video saying: “If a criminal is not peaceful, assault them as you wait for the police. If they have done something dangerous or stabbed someone and the incident is still fresh, kill that person. That is the proper interpretation of the law,”
But on Monday, Mr Kimutai’s boss, Mr Mwanzo, defended him, saying the statements were taken out of context, adding that the officer’s intention was to call for public support in the fight against crime.
Mr Kimutai, who was transferred to Bondeni two months ago from Mau Narok, was captured on camera during last week’s security meeting in Manyani that was called to discuss the rise in crime in Nakuru.
He said in the video: “If someone commits murder here, he should be followed in hot pursuit and be killed too. It is there. We can’t bend the law in favour of criminals and disadvantage weak people in society. That one I will not allow as the OCS Bondeni,” he said.
Quoting sections of the Constitution on limited rights, Mr Kemboi is also heard saying that the law allows the elimination of a few bad people.
“The Constitution states that certain rights can be limited and the right to life is among them. We can’t allow a few individuals to continue disturbing the majority in society. If three per cent of individuals cause trouble, we are allowed to eliminate them to save 97 per cent. And even Article 51 of the UN Charter allows us to mount hot pursuit and kill them,” he said.
Mr Mwanzo said that Bondeni is a major hideout for criminal gangs, including Confirm, and that officers’ work will not succeed without the participation of members of the public in identifying and weeding out criminals.
He noted that the OCS and his officers are being frustrated as they are usually the first responders to incidents, some of which are frightening.
He said that as a commander the OCS is under pressure and burned out after placing all security measures in place but the criminals keep attacking, stabbing and killing people and robbing them of their property.
Mr Mwanzo urged people who have fallen victim to gangs to report to police stations, but he added that prosecutors sometimes throw out cases because of lack of evidence.
He said that when released by the courts, suspects return to the same localities and continue with their criminal activities, threatening victims and witnesses. This, he said, makes it difficult to prosecute them.
A gang leader identified as Steve, he said, was attacked by members of the public on Saturday after he tried to rob a Kinyozi operator while armed with a knife and a machete.
He said officers arrived on time and rushed him to Nakuru Level Five Hospital.
His remarks come amid rising cases of muggings and stabbings in the last month in Bondeni and Kivumbini, leaving one dead and other two nursing injuries.