The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) in Kenya is initiating an inquiry into the police actions during recent Azimio anti-government demonstrations. The investigations come amid reports of deaths by gunshot, injuries to civilians and police, assault on journalists, and wrongful civilian arrests during the protests. The IPOA aims to protect the constitutional rights and freedoms of everyone involved, including the police.
The oversight body’s findings will culminate in a comprehensive report to be shared with relevant bodies such as the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution and the National Police Service. The inquiry is prompted by opposition politicians and human rights groups voicing their concerns over the police’s alleged excessive use of force.
The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) reported 27 deaths resulting from police gunfire between July 7 and July 19 during the demonstrations. In contrast, President Ruto had earlier promised an end to police killings, but the recent protests and resulting fatalities demonstrate a stark disconnect.
Additionally, Governor Anyang’ Nyongo of Kisumu has condemned the police for door-to-door operations, accusing them of assaulting innocent Kenyans at home during the protests. The IPOA’s investigation will attempt to address these grave issues and recommend necessary actions.