The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) has started investigating an incident where a Daily Nation journalist was physically assaulted by security officers attached to Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s wife, Dorcas Rigathi.
Mr Mwangi Muiruri, a Nation correspondent, was attacked on Thursday morning during a relief food distribution event she attended in Gatanga, Murang'a County.
IPOA Central regional coordinator Rashid Wekesa on Friday wrote to the journalist, informing him that they have commenced probing the incident.
“Pursuant to its investigative functions, the Authority commenced independent investigations into circumstances surrounding the incident where you (Muiruri) reportedly assaulted by police officers while carrying out your duties at Greystone area of Murang’a county on 24/11/2022,” Mr Wekesa said in a letter addressed to Mr Muiruri.
Mr Wekesa requested Mr Muiruri to appear, in person, to the Authority’s regional office in Nyeri on Monday.
“In this regard, the Authority requests you to appear in person for the interview and statement recording at the IPOA Nyeri regional offices on 28/11/2022. You will also be required to furnish us with treatment notes, P3 report and any other evidence relating to the incident,” said the regional Ipoa boss.
Mr Muiruri was roughed up by the guards, with one officer caught on tape slapping him in the face.
The scuffle started when one officer pulled the journalist back as he tried to record the event with his mobile phone.
Though Mr Muiruri had a job tag with a labelled lanyard around his neck, the officer demanded that he stop recording as Ms Rigathi distributed food at the chief's camp in the Greystone area.
He told the officer that recording the activities on his mobile phone was part of his job.
But this irked the officers, who clobbered him after snatching his phone from him.
The tussle continued for a few minutes before one officer slapped Mr Muiruri, prompting the intervention of his colleagues.
One of the officers, upon noticing that they had been recorded, grabbed the phone of another Nation reporter and deleted a video recording of the encounter in an attempt to conceal the evidence before returning the phone.
But the footage was recovered.
This was the second time Mr Muiruri was roughed up by security officers, after another incident in late 2021 in Kangari, Kigumo, where William Ruto, then a Deputy President, attended a function.