IPOA to investigate murder of inmate

The father of the inmate killed at the Naivasha Maximum Prison David Gitahi and his mother Mary Njeri outside the Naivasha Sub County Hospital mortuary.

A State agency has started investigations into the death of an inmate in Naivasha.

The inmate, Simon Nduro Gitahi, who was serving a life sentence, was allegedly tortured by warders in the prison two months ago.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) is now seeking to determine the involvement of the warders into the death.

This comes weeks after a report by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said the inmate was beaten to death.

Doreen Muthaura, a commissioner at IPOA, said the authority would interview individuals at the prison. 

Ms Muthaura said IPOA had written to the Commissioner General of Prison over the death, and notified him of the investigation.

“If there is any evidence of excessive use of force, those involved will face the law,” Muthaura said.

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She noted that cases of excessive use of force by police were on the rise.

Created awareness

Muthaura said between 2012 and 2013, the number of cases reported to the authority was 524. Between 2018 and 2019, the cases had risen to 3,237.

“People are reporting cases of police brutality because IPOA has created awareness against the vice and opened offices in the grassroots,” Muthaura said.

She revealed that several officers who had been found guilty of using excessive force on suspects had been jailed.

“A couple of weeks ago, the OCS in Ruaraka was jailed for life for killing a suspect in police cells,” Muthaura said.

In a separate interview, Amos Amunga, a legal officer at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), said his office was reviewing the murder of popular Kalenjin musician Diana Chelele.

Mr Amunga said Eric Musila, an officer, was set free by the High Court after the murder due to shoddy investigations.

He said the DCI was reviewing Mr Musila's file with a view of filing fresh charges against him. “The judge said the investigation was poor. We are revisiting that case,” Amunga said.

In his ruling, Judge Richard Mwongo noted that the prosecution had failed to fill many gaps in Chelele's murder case. He said it was unsafe for the court to convict Musila based on little evidence.

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Independent Policing Oversight AuthorityIPOADirectorate of Criminal InvestigationsNaivasha Maximum PrisonOCS in Ruaraka