IPOA warns police officers against misuse of firearms

Kenya: The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has warned police officers against misusing their guns.

The authority vowed to continue in their campaign of holding police accountable for their actions, saying the era of impunity is over. Speaking during the launch of a Sh1.8 billion four-year strategic plan for the authority, IPOA Chairman Macharia Njeru said they are not opposed to the use of firearms by police but added that usage should be justified.

He said IPOA has so far investigated and prosecuted two cases against two officers for abuse of  power and plans to forward ten more to the Directorate of Public Prosecution for action.

Citing the recent protests in which transport along Thika Highway was paralysed as residents held protests demanding the release of a police officer accused of murder, Njeru noted there is a lot of ignorance among Kenyans. "We need to have civic education to help citizens understand our mandates and those of police at large. Ours is professional," he said.

In its operations, IPOA plans to spend Sh429.2 million in the 2014-2015 financial year, Sh460.2 million in 2015-2016, Sh427.5 million in 2016-2017 and in 2017-2018, Sh513 million.

The authority will spend Sh190 million in paying basic salaries for permanent employees and Sh40 million for board members. The authority launched the plan last Thursday and announced it will spend Sh40 million to purchase vehicles in the four-year period. More than Sh21 million will be used for training of  personnel at the authority, Sh10.3 million for hospitality supplies and services, Sh23 million for insurance costs, Sh36.5 for rentals of produced assets and Sh7.2 for foreign travel and subsistence while domestic travels will consume Sh21 million.

British High Commissoner to Kenya Christian Turner, America's Robert Godec, former head of the taskforce on police reforms Philip Ransley and the Inspector General of Police were present. Godec said the US had pumped more than Sh100 million into IPOA in equipment and training.