By NDERITU GICHURE
KENYA: Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku and Police Inspector General David Kimaiyo came under fire from the civil society for directing police officers to shoot to kill criminals.
The Independent Medico-Legal Unit Executive Director Peter Kiama criticised the two for issuing a shoot to kill order, saying the police and other security agencies are likely to misuse the order to kill innocent civilians.
Kiama, who was speaking in Nyeri, said misuse of police firearms is already on the increase citing a report that showed that this year alone more than 120 people were shot by police in what he claimed were extra-judicial executions by the force.
He said many more have been shot under unclear circumstances and there is need for the police to investigate the cases, adding that Kenya is not a police state.
He said majority of the people likely to be killed by police bullets, if the policy is implemented, are hawkers and unemployed youth as well as street families between the ages of 18 to 30. “Areas with huge populations are likely to have young people shot under the policy because of unemployment problems and the economic status of the youth.” He said the two security bosses are criminalising poverty by giving the order, adding that more innocent civilians are likely to be killed by the police on pretext they are criminals. “A shoot to kill policy is not going to bring about the safety Kenyans want but a lot of deaths especially among the youth who, are easy targets,” Kiama said.