IG Koome: Bodies hired from mortuaries during 'maandamano' to taint police image

Bodies hired to pose as victims of police brutality, IG Koome claims

Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome now claims that some individuals hired bodies from mortuaries to tarnish the image of the National Police Service (NPS) with claims of mass killings during the anti-government protests.

Mr Koome claimed some "senior citizens" colluded with some mortuary attendants to "buy" bodies before inviting the media to "paint a picture of excessive use of force by the police during the demonstrations".

Speaking at the National Police College Kiganjo main campus on Tuesday, the IG defended the NPS, arguing that they executed their mandate exemplarily during the protests that were called by Azimio la Umoja coalition leader Raila Odinga.

“In the recent past, we have seen senior members of our society going to mortuaries, hiring dead bodies and inviting the media to claim that the persons were killed by police officers. How low can some of our leaders sink? They take pictures of the bodies and dispatch them all over social media,” Mr Koome claimed.

Pick bodies

“The information I have is that they go to some of the mortuaries, compromise the workers and pick bodies of people who died due to some illness, accidents and other courses. They take photographs of those bodies and blame the police. We are not in the business of being on the defensive side. We cannot respond to busybodies because our mandate is to protect our country,” he added.

Distracted by opposition leaders

He reiterated that NPS will continue discharging its mandate without being distracted by opposition leaders.

“We are well guided on the right of force to use during such protests and that is why we regularly come to this college for training. The force we use is governed by the law and the service standing orders. There is nothing that we have done out of the ordinary. Let them know that chaos will not happen again in this country. This tendency of issuing threats must stop,” Mr Koome said.

The IG said that NPS will not be intimidated by the warning by the opposition of dragging them to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“Let them continue threatening us that they will head to the ICC. We have a duty to serve our country and we will protect it jealously. There are those who are saying that they will go back to the streets and disrupt peace. We are going to deal with you firmly and decisively. We will use all our equipment to instil peace. The guns that we have are properties of Kenyans,” Mr Koome said.

“Majority of my officers have been injured by protesters. How can you expect me to spare you when you hurl stones at me yet I have a gun? I will definitely deal with you because the gun that I have is not a walking stick. When you attack a police officer, you will be dealt with equal force,” he added.

Maintaining law and order

He noted that police officers are professional and that they should be allowed to continue with their mandate of maintaining law and order in the country.

“I have professional police officers and what they have done in the recent past is commendable. If I had medals, I would have awarded each of them for doing a good job. NPS will ensure there is peace in this country. I am urging our youths to desist from being manipulated by politicians to cause chaos,” Mr Koome said.

The IG met officers who were recently promoted from the rank of inspector to that of chief inspector.

The officers will undergo training at the police college for six weeks where they will learn how to manage police stations and public order management.