Why Senator Kajwang wants IPOA disbanded

 Some of Azimio la Umoja supporters still nursing wounds of police britality at Homa Bay County Referral Hospital were visited by Senator Moses Kajwang on July 31, 2023. [James Omoro, Standard]

Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang wants the Independent Policing Oversight Authority disbanded if it fails to take legal measures against police officers accused of brutalising people who participated in anti-government protests.

Kajwang told IPOA to thoroughly investigate cases of shootings that left several people dead and others injured by police during the Azimio demonstrations against the cost of living.

Speaking at Homa Bay County Referral Hospital when he visited patients who were injured during the protests, Kajwang said injuries, deaths and arrests, which Kenyans underwent should not be taken lightly.

“The cases of brutality witnessed during demonstrations should be investigated thoroughly for legal action to be taken against police officers who committed them,” Kajwang’ said.

He argued that failure to take legal action against the officers who committed the atrocities should lead to the disbandment of the IPOA.

“We want the IPOA to do a thorough probe and ensure police officers who perpetrated the brutality are brought to book. But if the IPOA cannot do so, we want it dissolved because that shows ineptitude in discharging its mandate.”

Kajwang argued IPOA would be of no value if no police officers were found guilty of brutalising the protestors.

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"We cannot bury our heads in the sand to pretend that we have an authority that protects Kenyans against brutality by police. If the authority cannot hold the police to account, let it be ready to be held to account through its dissolution,” he added.

The legislator said it was wrong for the police to shoot at innocent Kenyans who were expressing their constitutional rights.

He said anybody whose right was subverted during the protest should get justice.

"Those Kenyans were expressing their constitutional rights by admonishing the government over the high cost of living," Kajwang said.

He also told police not to frustrate youths who participated in the demonstrations.

This is after he met some youth who complained that their lives were being threatened for participating in the protests.

“Some of the youth complain to be getting anonymous calls that they will be harmed. Let nobody intimidate them,” Kajwang said.