Ipoa probes death of man arrested in crackdown on illicit brew

The Independent Police Oversight Authority (Ipoa) has launched investigations into the death of a man in police custody in Taita Taveta county.

This followed conflicting reports about the death of Julius Mwafuga, with some claiming that he was beaten to death by the police.

Police have since denied the allegations.

Mwatate Sub County Police Commander John Owuoth said Ipoa is investigating the death of the 38-year-old man.

The police commander admitted that the deceased was arrested in an illicit brew den during a security operation to flush out brewers in Singila, Mwatate and detained at the police station.

Mwafuga who reportedly appeared drunk later collapsed at the police station and was taken to Mwatate sub county hospital for treatment.

On Thursday, Owuoth said after spending the night at the hospital, the deceased was later taken back to the police station where he complained of severe headache.

“The suspect was later re-admitted to the hospital where he succumbed,” said Owouth.

Residents, however, claim the deceased was assaulted by police officers.

“A scuffle ensued at Singila village between security personnel and brewers. The suspect was beaten up and he is a victim of police brutality,” said a villager, who claimed to have witnessed the incident.

Owuoth however denied the allegations inisisting that the suspect died while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

He said Ipoa will unravel the circumstances under which the suspect died.

“It is true that the suspect died while in police custody and that is why Ipoa has come in to investigate the matter. We had taken him to hospital when he complained that he was unwell. We have nothing to hide,” said the police commander.

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