As cases of police brutality continue to spread rampantly across Kenya without any repercussions for police officers, the judiciary is the only last resort. Police in Kenya has reportedly been involved in the killing of 15 people since the government imposed in March a dusk-to-dawn curfew as part of a series of sweeping measures to combat the spread of novel coronavirus.
The Kenyan government will now have to pay a man sh.4.5 million as compensation and an additional sh.500,000 as punitive damages for wrongful arrest and prosecution after orders by a Nairobi court.
High Court judge James Makau ruled yesterday that that police and officers from the DPP’s office violated Anthony Murimi Waigwe’s rights for preferring a robbery with violence charge against him without any evidence in 2015.
“I find that it is not properly right in a civilized society like ours to close our eyes, ears and mouths when police officers arrest and charge innocent Kenyan youth and have them taken through unnecessary criminal trial like in the instance case,” noted Justice Makau.
In my view any good prosecution must be purposeful and should not be used to stage-manage cases… in a democratic society like ours no one should be charged without authorities conducting proper investigations.”
Kenyans have in the past suffered under the hands of men and women in blue. Just recently, #JusticeForSamuelMaina was trending on Twitter after he was heavily assaulted by police officers and left for dead.
The Independent Policing Oversight Body (IPOA) said in a statement seen by AFP news agency on Friday that it had received 87 complaints against police since the curfew and heightened security measures were rolled out on March 27.
The court order should be widely emulated and officers abusing their power held accountable.