Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) Chairman Macharia Njeru (right) flanked by the vice chairperson Jedidah Ntoyai during a press conference in Nairobi yesterday 6/10/2014 to release a report on the Mpeketoni attacks in which more than 60 people were killed PHOTO DAVID NJAAGA
The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) is under fire.
This follows the drafting of the Police Oversight Authority (Repeal) Bill, 2014 seeking to repeal the body that supervises police officers.
The initiators of the Bill, who happen to be police officers, want IPOA placed under the Johnstone Kavuludi-led National Police Service Commission (NPSC), claiming the State-sponsored watchdog is discriminative in its functions.
Instead of IPOA, they are seeking the establishment of new oversight body to be known as the National Police Oversight Board.
Officers have been faulting IPOA for allegedly conducting biased investigations that tarnish their image.The officers are particularly angered by the move to charge Constable Titus Musili who was accused by IPOA of extrajudicial killings.
Musili, fondly referred to as Katitu, was accused of shooting dead crime suspects Kenneth Kimani and Oscar Muchoki in Githurai 45. Musili’s arrest and subsequent prosecution sparked three-day violent protests by residents who demanded his unconditional release.
“Parliament shall ensure the commission is adequately funded for it to effectively and efficiently ensure the Board performs all its function,” reads section 10 (2) of the amendment Bill.
In the draft Bill, NPSC shall recruit and vet the 10 members of the Board headed by a director.
The Bill states that: The NPSC chairperson shall regularly give direction on the minutes, meetings and operations of the board.
The key objectives of the board shall be to monitor the professionalism, effectiveness and efficiency of the police and report to the commission (NPSC); hold the police accountable to the commission, parliament and the public.
The board shall also promote fundamental rights and freedoms contemplated in the Constitution, and ensure police uphold good ethical standards. The Bill says that NPSC shall delegate necessary power to the board.
IPOA was established in 2011 and is chaired by Macharia Njeru, who is assisted by seven members.