Opinion / Commentaries
Monday, 03 Apr 2017 09:44 EAT
Let me be clear. Police officers are human beings who chose to join the police service not the priesthood. Police officers are not Sunday School teachers. If you join the Army and you go to Somalia, you know what that entails. There are criminals in every country even in the Vatican. The mandate of the police service is to foil crime, detect crime, investigate crime, arrest suspects and prosecute them in courts of law apart from enforcing the laws of the land and upholding law, order and the rule of law.
If there is any policeman who doesn’t want to do that, they should go home and sell mtumba and let those who accept the responsibility of policing be in it. It is not the mandate of the police to kill suspects that they have apprehended. Yes, when their lives are in danger, police officers are allowed to use force to defend themselves like any human being will.
But it is quite another thing for police officers to have a list of 36 youngsters they are planning to gun down because they have warned them and these youngsters have refused to reform, as is happening in Eastlands. This is the description of a failed State. Why should the police allow these gangsters to terrorize Kenyans and simply keep warning them? The police should do their detective work, get evidence, arrest them and take them to court and send them to life in prison.
When I see Advocates like Donald B. Kipkorir making statements justifying extrajudicial killings yet they are not calling for dissolution of courts of law, I feel disappointed. You either hold the police accountable or you suspend the constitution.
Every police officer should know that even if they have the whole of Kenya behind them, saying that yes kill all those gangsters who are terrorizing Kenyans, the clear message is that each officer will be personally liable for contravening the law and the constitution. Our constitution is not a piece of paper.
The writer is a good governance campaigner and CEO, Future of Kenya Foundation