Police Brutality:  National Police Force of Kenya Declining into Infamy and Decay

Police Brutality:  National Police Force of Kenya Declining into Infamy and Decay

Police brutality that was witnessed on Friday evening when a government-imposed nationwide curfew to contain the spread of the coronavirus was initiated epitomizes how sick the National Police Force of Kenya has declined into infamy and decay.

Indeed the incident calls for the speediest and thorough investigation by the office of the Inspector-General and prosecution of the culprits in a court of law.

The Constitution says the Bill of Rights is an integral part of Kenya’s democratic state and “the framework for social, economic and cultural policies” (Article 19(1)).

The essential purpose is to “preserve the dignity of the individuals and communities and to promote social justice and the realization of the potential of human beings” (Article 19.2)).

It is worth noting that the state has an obligation to protect rights. If they fail to provide protection, with the result that a community is terrorised, they might consider legal action against the state, even though they cannot identify their tormentors, writes Prof.Yash Pal Ghai & Jill Cottrell Ghai, Kenya’s Constitution: An Instrument for Change.

“And ‘torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ covers a wide range of mistreatment. And says they Constitution, they can never be justified (Article 25).

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Citizen enemy of the Kenyan State

President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 26 invoked the curfew where there will be no movement at night except for people engaged in essential services.

“The curfew applies to the entire territory of Kenya. No public gatherings or movement is allowed between 7.00pm and 5.00am. The implications of the curfew is that all persons in Kenya shall remain indoors. Only those offering essential services are exempted,” National Police Service Commissioner-General, Hilary Mutiambai said Friday.

According to the Public Order Act, “any person, who contravenes any of the provisions of a curfew order or any of the terms or conditions of a permit granted to him shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”

We all agree that there is a need to contain the spread of the Covid-19, however, measures in place should also adhere to the respect of the citizens. This is because they are a critical pillar in the realisation of the goal. 

To stop the spread which has already claimed one life in the country with many others still in isolation.

At the end of the day, we need to ask ourselves:

What other crimes are rogue police officers committing in collusion with criminals or alone that the public can’t detect?