Killer police officers are targeting slum youth, lobby says

Dandora Community Justice Centre coordinator Wilfred Olal when he talked about the disappearance of Caroline Mwatha on February 11, 2019. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • IPOA said it faced challenges investigating rogue police officers who go by pseudo-names.

Social justice groups based in informal settlements have expressed fear that there's a killer police officer in nearly every slum in the country.

Speaking during an engagement forum with the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) in Nairobi on Tuesday, Mr Wilfred Olal, the convener of Social Justice Centres Working Group, raised the alarm on the situation, citing Pangani area that hosts Mathare slums as an example.

He claimed that the infamous ''Pangani six officers'' have a private police station that acts as the base for their activities.

He mentioned an officer known by locals as Hessy wa Dandora as being notorious for using social media to profile slum youths suspected to be criminals before killing them.

"So far 30 cases involving the officer calling himself Hessy have been forwarded to IPOA. Those linked to Ahmed Rashid are more than 30. Is the Authority doing anything to address this and does it monitor the patterns of these officers?" Mr Olal asked IPOA.

The Authority confessed that it has been having challenges investigating the officer(s) who go by pseudo-names including Hessy wa Dandora, Hessy wa Kayole, Majengo, among others.

IPOA chief executive Anne Makori said there can never be one officer operating at different stations and called on members of the public with information on the real identities of the officers to forward their names to the Authority for investigations.

“The Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions confirmed that there is no officer registered by the name Hessy at the National Police Service Commission (NPSC). Pseudo-names limit our investigations,” she said.

However, IPOA said its investigations into the conduct of Mr Ahmed Rashid are in advanced stages.

Other than police brutality, the working group also urged the Authority to investigate the state of police officers located in slum areas, saying that at Huruma police station, there are no cells for female detainees.

“The reporting desk area at Huruma police station is used as the holding cell for women detainees,” said Mr Olal.