Medics welcome Sh1.2b allocation to forensic lab

By Ally Jamah

Kenya: Medical experts have welcomed the decision by MPs to set aside Sh1.2 billion in the budget for a National Forensic Laboratory to help in criminal investigations and securing justice for victims of crime.

The parliamentary Budget and Appropriations committee led by Mbeere South MP Mutava Musyimi has recommended the inclusion of the lab in the budget despite the fact that Treasury had not factored it in the budget estimates submitted to Parliament for scrutiny.

Chief Government Pathologist Dr Johansen Oduol said setting up the crucial institution had been put on the backburner for too long. “The forensic lab will go a long way in improving the accuracy and efficiency of our work since all the forensic experts will work together under one roof. It will help the criminal-justice system significantly.”

CEO of the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board Michael Wanga said he has been lobbying for the same for years without much success, terming the lab as an idea whose time has come.

Executive Director of the Independent Medico-Legal Unit Peter Kiama had called on the Government to prioritise the Forensic Lab terming it an urgent issue. He said many investigations by police or against the police often fail due to poor forensics.

He had blamed a lack of political will for the lack of action. He said the forensic lab should be networked with the National Crime Research Centre.

“The lab would help roll back the crime. The lab would give crime probe remarkable success,” he said.

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National Forensic Laboratory Dr Johansen Oduol Michael Wanga National Crime Research Centre