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Group faults Kimaiyo's ‘shoot to kill' order

16 September 2013, 18:30 Joseph Njung’eh

The Independent Medico-legal Unit (IMLU) on Monday criticised Inspector General of police, David Kimaiyo, over reports that he authorised police officers to shoot and kill.

IMLU Executive Director, Peter Kiama, expressed concerns over the reports saying that Kimaiyo is reviving past policies initially used to torture Kenyans. He said lethal force is not acceptable and is misguided.

“The 'shoot to kill' order is a policy of the past which cannot be accepted currently. This means Kenyans will continue experiencing bad policing despite the new constitution,” said Kiama, adding that police are still using firearms illegally.

Peter Kiama, police reforms
(Photo: Wangui Joseph, News24 user)

He was speaking at Outspan Hotel during a dialogue meeting with senior police officers, religious leaders, civil societies and elders from Nyeri, Murang’a and Kirinyaga counties. The forum was meant to enhance police reforms by getting input of the community groups within the region.

Kiama said that police should embrace new philosophy of public safety and involve citizens in bringing change to the unit.

The organisation is however demanding use of guns to be within the international guidelines similar to those provided by the United Nations (UN) saying torture by police officers has led to multiple deaths and injuries.

However, he condemned members of the public who are attacking police officers saying it is a criminal offence, adding that respect should be developed to enhance partnership between public and police.

According to statistics, Kiama said they have received 120 cases involving lethal force in the last seven months.

Most victims of lethal force are young men including hawkers, garbage and scrap metal collectors from poor background. Kiama further observed that police are criminalising poverty.

The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) Vice Chair, Tom Kagwe, said police are expected to use firearms when saving their own lives, those of citizens and when a citizen is at risk of suffering serious injury.

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