Change of tune? IG Japhet Koome says doctors are free to hold protests

Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome. [Screen Grab: KTN News]

Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome has clarified his statement, saying doctors are free to hold protests.

His statement comes days after he released a statement, ordering his officers to deal ‘firmly’ with doctors protesting.

In an exclusive interview on KTN News Hour, IG Koome insisted that the demonstrations must be peaceful and should not disrupt normalcy.

“There is a patient who is lying in an ambulance, being moved from point A to point B then doctors are lying on the streets. That is what I talked about in my statement. In that kind of situation, I my officers will remove them so that the doctors lying on the streets will not infringe on the rights of others,” Koome says.

“This patient being moved from one hospital to another has equal rights. So that is what I mentioned in the first paragraph. In my statement, there is nowhere I talked about stopping picketing,”

When asked about the Haiti Mission, Koome said the Kenyan police can succeed in the Haiti Mission.

‘I believe that our officers have the training, knowledge and capacity to deliver on the Haiti Mission. Different ranks including commanders, and specialized teams will be part of the mission. Let me not get to the details of the strategy because it might compromise the mission,” the IG said.

The South Rift has been facing banditry for years. Koome says at least 251 banditry suspects have been arrested, 11,600 livestock and 184 illegal firearms recovered in the war against banditry since he took over.

However, Koome notes that Baringo is the most affected county adding that talks with local leaders and opinion shapers are underway.

He has also urged graduate officers awaiting promotion to be patient, reiterating that performance and discipline will be highly considered during the promotions.