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ELECTION 2022

Probe into police conduct during Mukuru slum operation called off

NAIROBI
By Kamore Maina | Jan 24th 2022 | 3 min read

A building that was demolition at Mukuru Kwa Njenga slums. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Investigations into the conduct of the police during an operation at Mukuru Kwa Njenga slums on December 27 have collapsed, The Standard has learnt.

Two people were shot dead by anti-riot police who were called in to quell the demonstrations by residents who were protesting against eviction from their land. The land was being cleared to pave way for construction of a road.

Following the failed operation, Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai asked the Internal affairs unit of the National Police Service to open investigations into the botched operation. Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i in a subsequent press briefing in Nairobi blamed the police for among other issues use of excessive force during the operation.

The CS who addressed the media in Nairobi on January 7 said security officers who were involved in the operation will be made to account for their actions.

“We have to strike a balance between court orders and the rights of the people. Those (officers) will be called to account,” Matiang’i said.

As Matiang’i made these remarks, the Internal Affairs Unit of the police had already swung into action and summoned senior police officers to their offices in Upper hill where they were made to record statements.

The Mohammed Amin-led IAU had also issued summons to another 14 junior officers who were part of the team that was deployed to Mukuru to deal with the rioters.

The officers from Kayole and Buruburu police station were directed to appear before the IAU investigators on January 13 to record statements.

Now, this investigation has been called off following a series of high level calls and consultations.

The Standard has learnt that the IAU has stopped recording statements from the rank and file in the police on this investigation.

“We have been asked to stop even the recording of statements. It’s an order that we can’t ignore,” said an officer familiar with the matter.

Other sources claim some senior officers in the NPS felt that the investigation was likely to put them in the spot and wanted the investigations stopped.

The sources said a senior officer who had already recorded his statement had put the spotlight on his seniors  when he said that he had consulted widely before deploying officers to the ground.

Investigators had plans of even going to the GSU headquarters to establish how its officers were called to the operation.

Yesterday, police spokesman Bruno Shioso said he was not mandated to speak on behalf of the IAU.

IAU boss Mohammed Amin when contacted for a comment told the Standard that he was not in a position to comment on the matter since he was boarding a plane.

On January 14, the interior Ministry announced that it had inked a deal with a company that claimed ownership of the Mukuru land.

In a statement, on January 6, the ministry said Orbit Chemicals Industries Limited has now agreed to surrender the land on condition that it receives compensation.

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