Police guns used in Kibera, Mathare set for ballistic tests
All police officers deployed to quell last week’s post-election protests have been ordered to surrender their guns for ballistic examination following claims of extrajudicial killings.
The order by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Kenya Police Joel Kitili followed outrage from human rights organisations, members of the public and politicians, who claimed that police officers killed demonstrators.
The protests erupted on Saturday morning after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared President Uhuru Kenyatta the previous night the winner of the presidential election held last Tuesday.
Violent confrontations between protesters and anti-riot police were reported in Nairobi and Nyanza regions over the weekend.
Police commanders have however constantly insisted that no live bullets were fired to disperse crowds.
SOURCE OF BULLET
Police have called for patience as they seek to ascertain the source of the bullet that killed a 10-year-old girl in Mathare during the chaos.
Nairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome said Monday that Stephanie Moraa was shot as police pursued a gang that was armed with an AK47 rifle but was disguised as protesters.
“We are doing our investigations on this very unfortunate incident,” Mr Koome said.
In a circular released on Saturday, Mr Kitili directed that deaths and injuries resulting from the use of a firearm be investigated.
“Similarly, all such firearms must be submitted for ballistic examination and case files disposed of through the normal legal process,” Mr Kitili said.
He also directed that all follow-up reports be sent to Police Headquarters indicating their statuses and compliance.
Human rights bodies — including the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU), Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, (KNCHR) and Amnesty International — have condemned the alleged police brutality.
They asked the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) to investigate the conduct of the officers involved in the operations.
Moraa, a Standard Four pupil at Mathare Primary School, Nairobi, was shot as she played on the balcony of their house.
Her parents and witnesses maintained that a police officer shot her.
A post-mortem examination on the body on Monday morning at Chiromo Mortuary showed that she died of a high velocity gunshot discharged from a long distance.
The autopsy by Dr Dorothy Njeru for the government and Professor Emily Rogena for the family, showed that the bullet entered through the left side of the chest, broke a rib and raptured the heart and lungs and then exited through the right side of the back.
Police chiefs and regional coordinators have insisted that police did not use excessive force.
“Police have standing orders,” Nairobi Regional Coordinator Bernard Leparmarai said on Sunday.
“They are well trained and are cognizant of the fact that they are supposed to use force only when it is necessary.”
Mr Koome was unapologetic on police officers using force when it necessary to protect life and property.
He dispelled reports by both the human rights lobbies and opposition leaders that 26 and 100 people, respectively, had died during protests since Wednesday.
“I’m aware of 10 people and those who died from police bullets were criminals and the excessive use of force was necessary because they were armed,” Mr Koome said.