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Chairperson of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) Anne Makori. [File, Standard]

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) says it will continue investigating cases where police officers are accused of using unjustifiable force.

The agency’s chairperson Anne Makori on Saturday, December 17, faulted the Inspector-General of Police Japhet Koome for calling some of its members “busybodies”.

Koome, during Friday, December 16 memorial ceremony of 57 police officers killed in the line of duty, said IPOA lacks empathy for police officers. 

The Police IG was accompanied to the ceremony at the Kenya Police Training College in Embakasi, Nairobi, by Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki, who echoed Koome’s sentiments.

“Today, we are holding a memorial ceremony for police officers killed during work. There are no representatives of IPOA here. Are you seeing any?” Koome asked the gathering during his speech.The IG said whenever a police officer kills “dangerous” people, IPOA is quick to take up the matter for investigation, yet when the reverse happens, the agency hardly speaks.

“We do not want to hear you (police officers) have been hurt or your hand severed by crooks when you have a firearm. Count on the Inspector-General [of Police] to stand with you. Kenya has a committed Cabinet Secretary. Do not be scared by busybodies saying the police officers [who use their guns] should be arrested,” Koome said.

Interior CS Kindiki, on his part, said IPOA remained silent when eight police officers and a chief were killed in Turkana County on September 24, 2022. 

“It is as if police officers are to wait for their deaths. Let the police officers use the guns to defend members of the public, public property and themselves,” said Kindiki.

IPOA now says it won’t be intimidated by the comments made by Kindiki and Koome, promising to continue weeding out rogue police officers from the service.

IPOA chairperson Anne Makori says the agency, established in 2011, enjoys constitutional backing.

Terming Kindiki and Koome’s remarks as “unfortunate and dangerous”, Makori said: “The Inspector-General, in his swearing-in speech on November 11, 2022, acknowledged that 98 per cent of police officers are good while the remaining 2 per cent needed to be rehabilitated with the support of institutions such as IPOA. It is in the spirit of this pledge that IPOA continues to commit to the execution of its mandate.”

“Article 239 (5) of the Constitution of Kenya determines that all national security organs are subordinate to civilian authority,” added Makori. 

Makori said IPOA was established “after a period of unchecked police excesses”.

“The authority shall [continue to] investigate any death or serious injury; including death or serious injury while in police custody, which are the result of police action or were caused by members of the service while on duty.

“For the ten years the authority has been in existence, rightfully, it has been busy, ultimately to ensure that Kenyans have confidence in the men and women in uniform – the police – in whom they entrust their lives and property on a daily basis,” said IPOA boss Makori.  By Brian Okoth, The Standard

The agency has assured police officers of its support “including when they make a decision that may result to the use of lethal force”.

“Holding the [police] service accountable is not fault-finding or a witch-hunt, but it simply seeks to answer – what happened? Why did it happen? Was it avoidable? Can we prevent it in future? And finally, was there ill motive? – when incidents requiring our investigations occur.”

To suggest that it hasn’t engaged in witch-hunt against the police, IPOA said since its inception in 2011 it had received more than 20,000 complaints, but only less than 500 had been forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for court action.

“Some investigations have also found that officers used lethal force justifiably,” said IPOA boss Anne Makori.

IPOA said it won’t, nonetheless, allow police to act extra-judicially under its watch because “the conditions for the use of force and firearms are well spelt out in the legislation”.

The authority highlighted the conditions under which a police officer can use force. Below are the guidelines:

  1. A police officer shall always attempt to use non-violent means first.
  2. The force used shall be proportional to the objective to be achieved, the seriousness of the offence, and the resistance of the person against whom it is used.
  3. When the use of force results in injuries, the police officers present shall provide medical assistance immediately, and unless there are good reasons, failing to do so shall be a criminal offence.
  4. A police officer who uses any form of force shall immediately, report to his or her superior.
  5. Any use of force that leads to death, serious injury and other grave consequences shall be reported immediately to the Independent Police Oversight Authority.
  6. It shall be a disciplinary offence for a police officer to fail to report in accordance with these regulations.
  7. A Police officer in uniform shall at all times affix a nametag or identifiable Service number in a clearly visible part of the uniform.
  8. Following the orders of a superior is no excuse for unlawful use of force.

 

Police on Friday morning arrested three people caught transporting  contraband goods in a lorry along Kericho-Litein road.

The National Police Service said in a statement that the lorry was intercepted by officers from Bureti Subcounty.

The three were booked at Kericho Police Station before being arraigned  in the afternoon.

"A multi-agency team comprising of Kenya Revenue Authority officers inspected the goods and established that the 1,100 cartons each containing 20 bottles of Best Classic Gin valued at Sh4.4 million were counterfeit," NPS said.

The suspects pleaded guilty before a Magistrate Court in Kericho and are awaiting sentencing on Monday, December 19.

NPS further said the lorry has been forfeited to the State while the counterfeit goods are condemned for destruction. - SHARON MWENDE, The Star

L-R: Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni's daughter  Natasha Karugire, President Museveni, US President Joe Biden and US First Lady Jill Biden pose for a photo at the White House on December 15, 2022. 

  • Mr Joe Biden who is serving his first term as US President said the agreements reached with work for citizens on the African continent only if the governments guarantee security and peace, adhere to democratic principles and keep their populations healthy.

The United States President Joe Biden has revealed that his administration officials have signed multiple deals with African leaders worth $15b to “improve lives of people all across the continent”.  

“And that’s the biggest deal of all,” Mr Biden said in an address to more than 40 heads of state and governments gathered in Washington D.C for the three-day US-Africa Leaders’ Summit that ended yesterday. 

“Altogether, the forum has spurred more than $15 billion in new deals, which will turn lift up and improve lives of people all across the continent”, he said, adding, ““All of you — all of you, the deals you’ve signed, the investments we’ve made together, are concrete proof of the enduring commitment we’re making to one another; government-to-government, business-to-business, people-to-people.” By Arthur Arnold Wadero, Daily Monitor

  • President William Ruto and First Lady Rachel Ruto meeting US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden at White House on December 15, 2022.
    TWITTER  HUSSEIN MOHAMMED 
  • President William Ruto has already secured six major deals for Kenya that will be realised through partnerships with the United States (US) Government as well as private investors.

    The deals were secured on Thursday, December 15, during US-Africa Leaders’ Summit.

    Some of the deals are set to benefit Kenya directly while others are meant to bring democracy, peace, and stability to the Sub-Saharan Africa region. 

    One of the key deals is a partnership with World Bank on various economic projects.

    President Ruto addressing Kenyans in diaspora at Washington DC on December 15, 2022
    President Ruto addressing Kenyans in diaspora at Washington DC on December 15, 2022  TWITTER  STATE HOUSE KENYA

    “Kenya will intensify its engagement with the World Bank on the country development priorities,” Ruto announced on Thursday, December 15, in Washington DC during a meeting with World Bank President David Malpass. 

    The President also secured a major partnership in his efforts to bring peace at the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

    In a meeting attended by Yoweri Museveni (Ugandan President), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Samia Suluhu (Tanzania), and Evariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi), the president on December 15, charted a way forward towards achieving peace and stability at DRC.

    “It is in our interest as a region to find a lasting solution to the current instability in the DRC. We cannot allow the situation to get worse," the President urged other Heads of State.

    Kenya will be one of the first African countries to make strides in space technology.

    This was announced by the president after he was hosted at a high-level roundtable at Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Management by US investors on December 15.

    During the same meeting, it was announced that Kenya would partner with the US on climate innovations and carbon removal. 

    The President painted Kenya as one of the most favourable investment destinations for the abundant US capital.

    He attributed that to its competitive advantage to a maturing constitutional democracy and well-developed financial and commercial ecosystem.

    Lastly, the President has secured a huge deal toward attaining peace in the Horn of Africa which will benefit Kenya as the country has been hurt economically by terrorist attacks by Al Shabaab.

    "The United States of America will work with Kenya to ensure there is peace in the Horn of Africa," the President announced during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on December 15.

     
    President William Ruto during talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at Washington DC on December 15, 2022
    President William Ruto during talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at Washington DC on December 15, 2022  TWITTER  WILLIAM RUTO
     

A Sudanese woman charged with adultery has had her life spared and will instead spend six months behind bars after she admitted to kissing a man.

The 20-year-old was initially sentenced to death by stoning, sparking an international outcry.

She was arrested by police after her cousin killed her boyfriend.

The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) described the initial penalty as a "grave violation of international law".

The divorcee was sentenced to death after she was found guilty of adultery by a court in the city of Kosti, in Sudan's White Nile state.

Following international condemnation, the White Nile state court retried the case. Ultimately, the presiding judge changed the charge from "adultery" to an "obscene act" which meant she would instead serve prison time for her actions.

She confessed in court to being with a man and admitted that the pair had kissed.

Her lawyer, Intisar Abdullah, said the judge "didn't have many options but to convict her".

"The thing is she confessed at the court that she was with a man, she is very young and she doesn't know the complications of the case," the lawyertold the BBC.

The woman had been free on bail but has now gone to prison to start her sentence.

The ACJPS said she was not allowed a lawyer in the initial case, and procedural errors led to the stoning sentence being overturned.

Sudan still imposes the death penalty for some hudud crimes - offences specified by Allah in the Quran, including theft and adultery. In Sudanese law they carry penalties such as flogging, the amputation of hands and feet, hanging and stoning.

The majority of stoning sentences in Sudan - laid predominantly against women - have been overturned at the High Court.

Previously, a government minister described the sentence as a "joke" but admitted that no government minister could intervene.

Sudan has been run by a military junta since a coup in 2021.  By Zeinab Mohammed Salih, BBC

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