Ipoa summons officers as kin of killed schoolgirl cry for justice

Residents of Kisumu protest after police shot people including a form two student around juakali area on Mayn 9, 2023. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) has launched investigations into the shooting of a Form Two student and three boda boda operators.

Eight police officers implicated in the shooting, which left the schoolgirl dead, have been summoned.

“For the purposes of transparency, Ipoa has taken over the matter. They are doing investigation and once they are done those found culpable will face the law like any other Kenyan. There is nobody above the law,” said the County Police Commander Alphonse Kimanthi.

Traffic police officers pursuing a matatu driver over a traffic offense opened fire at the Jua Kali area on Tuesday morning, sparking protests.

Kimanthi also claimed that five officers were injured.

The development comes as residents continued to pile pressure on security agencies to bring to book the officers involved.

Jecinter Achieng, a 19-year-old student at the Simerro Secondary School in Ugunja, Siaya, died after she was hit by a stray bullet.

Trouble started when the fleeing matatu driver approached Jua Kali area with police officers in hot pursuit.

Curious Jua Kali artisans left their work stations to find out what was happening. Moments later, they were clashing with the police officers.

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital Chief Executive Officer George Rae confirmed that one person shot in the leg was taken to the facility.

The family of the slain schoolgirl were in shock as they struggled to come to terms with the loss of the girl. Charles Amollo, a brother-in-law, said the student had come to visit them during the school holidays. “She had came to town to buy a few items to report back to school,” said Amollo.

She died while receiving treatment at the Aga Khan Hospital. “This has really affected us as a family. We want justice for our girl. She was very innocent; she did not deserve to die like this. The police must face the law.”

Following the shooting, tensions flared in the city as angry youth stormed the Kisumu Central Police Station.

Some of the demonstrators tried to set ablaze a police vehicle, while others destroyed window panes with stones. Police officers used teargas to disperse the protesters.

Jack Hussein, the chairman of the jua kali artisans, accused the police of using excessive force. “We were not part of what was happening between the police and the matatu driver. They came to our area of work,” he said.

Chairman of the Kisumu Bus Park Shem Ochuodho said the officers should have summoned the Sacco the vehicle belonged to instead of risking the lives of innocent civilians.

Human rights activist Audi Ogada yesterday challenged the police to bring to book their colleagues.