By JOE KIARIE
Families of police brutality victims have also complained of officers tampering with evidence and frustrating investigations, reviving debate over the integrity of the force to investigate itself.
Cases of personal belongings of suspects going missing after they are booked into police stations are also being increasingly reported, with the police being the main suspects behind the theft.
Only last Saturday, Martin Kamau was laid to rest in Kariua Village in Kandara, Murang’a County. A witness said it took just one brutal swipe of a police baton, with a metal bolt fixed to its tip, to send the 26-year-old to an early grave.
Kamau’s mourning father, Daniel Miring’u, explains that his son was arrested alongside a colleague, Anthony Munga, while walking along Uganda Road in Eldoret on June 20.
They are said to have been arrested by two plain-clothes police officers, one of whom is said to have struck the deceased on the head when he inquired why he was being arrested.
The two were later handcuffed and taken to Eldoret Police Station. With a swelling to the left side of the head as a result of the baton strike, Kamau is said to have complained of a serious headache while being booked at the police counter, only to pass out minutes later.
He was nonetheless booked under OB number 8/21/6/2012 and charged with being drunk and resisting arrest.
“The officers in charge claimed that he was faking injury and proceeded to drag him into the cell unconscious. He was locked up with his friend in a cell overnight. Come morning, his colleague was taken to court, leaving the unconscious Kamau in the cell,” Miring’u narrates.
He says his son was later the same day found dumped near the casualty wing on the compound of the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, with doctors initially labeling him an “unknown African male”.
Kamau, a bulldozer operator in a Kericho-based construction farm, underwent a diagnostic evaluation and was found to have suffered massive bleeding in his brain. An emergency head surgery to save his life provide futile as he succumbed to the injuries on July 4.