How families of suspects murdered by police are forced to pay for bullets
Research findings on extrajudicial killings in the country have revealed how families of victims and survivors are forced to pay for the bullets used on their kin and the postmortem charges, yet what they need at that time is justice, legal, psychosocial support and reparations.
The findings of a research by the Social Justice Center Working Group (SJCWG), which were presented before the Senate on Wednesday, have also revealed that there is a killer cop in every slum and informal settlement in the country.
“A good example is Ahmed Rashid who operates in Pangani, Eastleigh and Mathare areas, who runs a police gang dubbed The Pangani Six. He arrests and takes young men from Mathare to a petrol station in Juja Road where he has an illegal holding cell for his victims before he kills them,” the report reads.
Rashid’s name came to light in 2017 when he was captured on camera executing two young men in broad daylight in Eastleigh. He has also been accused of similar killings in Mathare, Pangani and Eastleigh areas.
Another shadowy killer cop cited in the findings is Hessy Wa Dandora who operators online on Facebook under the name Nairobi Crime Free. The page profiles ‘wanted’ criminals in Nairobi when still alive and later reports their cold-blood murder after they have been executed by the police.
“We believe that the government has the machinery to track down these pages and arrests the officers if they want to. I recommend that Facebook be invited to shade more light on this,” reads the report.
To this end the group presented a six-point recommendation to the Senate Standing Committee on Justice Legal Affairs and Human Rights.
The matter was referred to the committee by the Speaker of the Senate after Nairobi Senator Johnston Sakaja introduced the issue of extra-judicial killings to the floor of the house on 20th February 2020.
They group further asked the government to strengthen their witness protection agency, saying as it is, they only protect witnesses whose cases are in court leaving others in great danger with some having lost their lives.
In terms of peaceful protests, the group wants the government to stop the police from using live bullets as some demonstrators have died in the past from bullets wounds in such circumstances.
The senate legal team has also been asked to look into illegal arrests in the slums and informal settlement.
“Young men are arrested, rounded up and asked to pay bribes to police officers, those who pay are released and those without money are taken to police stations where they spend their nights and are taken to courts the next weekday and are charged with all manner of crimes from being found with rolls of bhang to planning to commit a felony and other charges,” reads the report.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has been mandated to investigate cases touching on officers of the disciplined services but the justice group feels they need to be strengthened more, expanded to all counties and be provided with enough resources to be in a position to operate fully and successfully.
Since it was established in 2011, IPOA has only managed to investigate 5,940 cases which the justice group terms as a low success.