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End executions, subject suspects to rule of law

By - | January 5th 2013

When news of the killing of General Service Unit (GSU) officer Erastus Chemorei was reported, police quickly denied involvement in what was a murder or execution.

Police headquarters promised to investigate the matter but, as expected, nothing has come out of this. And Chemorei’s alleged investigation is not the only one that has grown cold, there are hundreds of unresolved murders at the doorsteps of the Kenya Police.

Demanding that police resolve murder cases has become a stale story, tall tale and even an act in futility. However, that does not mean that the current generation will not seek answers to Chemorei’s and other murders and assassinations.

Current and future generations have a vested interest in seeking these answers in order to achieve justice for those who died, bring to justice those responsible and also to foster the rule of law.

Significantly these three ends are of the essence because these heinous crimes continue to occur with impunity, organisers and masterminds knowing very well that they can get away with murder due to the inexcusable weaknesses in the investigatory and justice systems.

On August 27, last year, radical Islamist Sheikh Aboud Rogo was killed outside Mombasa in a drive by shooting. He was shot dead in front on his family. At the time of his death, there was no love lost between Rogo and many Kenyans given that the radical sheikh had made a name preaching hate.

He was on UN and US terrorist list and had been linked to many terror plots in Kenya, including alleged support for Al Shabaab. He was facing new terror charges after being acquitted of previous ones. Because of his record, some would say he met a just fate when he was killed. Before him was Samir Khan, another accomplished radical and terrorism suspect in his own right. Like Rogo, Khan was a demagogue to boot, accused of recruiting and financing Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda. He was found dead in Taita Taveta County.?

Rogo and Khan’s killings are as troubling as Chemorei’s because all were extra-judicial. Whereas Chemorei was killed serving public good for protecting Kenyans from drugs, justice and the rule of law were not served in the killings of the terror suspects. Besides, there is emerging evidence that foreign elements were involved in these killings.

Local police appeared to have been taken by surprise or even ordered not to interfere in the operation against Rogo. Clearly, the security organs had given Rogo and Khan bad names, delegitimised them in order to justify their murder.

This has become the trend for it can be recalled that after Chemorei’s assassination efforts were made to paint him as an armed robber, instead a weak hypothesis exposed police involvement in drug dealings at high levels.  Meanwhile another killing is pending – Joseph Cheptarus was killed or assassinated in the midst of a probe against gold smuggling in the former Zaire and the State and police have not investigated this matter fully or at all.

Instead theories have been advanced and excuses given to justify incompetence and protect fifth columnists with the security agencies and Government. This must stop because the country must decide to abide by the rule of law in apprehending and bringing to justice those it disagrees with.

But most important, these matters call for speedy police reforms so that security forces and investigatory units are freed from the control and caprice of a few people within the police and Government. Just a few days ago, it was reported that an impostor senior policeman had sat within the Kenya Police Force for two years. That demonstrates the decay and conspiracy, partly responsible for rogue behavior within the force.

We appreciate efforts made by the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko in setting up a high level team from Government and independent agencies to investigate the killing of Rogo. We call upon the DPP and Inspector General of Police Mr David Kimaiyo to work with speed and bring these cases to closure.

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