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Cases of violence against police officers a taste of their own medicine



Videos showing ordinary citizens physically assaulting traffic police officers ‘‘maintaining law and order” on our roads have recently gone viral on social media.
Whereas this is regrettable and uncalled-for, the National Police Service Commission and the senior leadership at Vigilance House, Nairobi, should be blamed for breeding defiance and civil disobedience by failing to firmly address complaints about rights abuses by police.
For instance, credible international human rights organisations and actors within local civil society raised concerns before, during and after last year’s General Election over the conduct of the officers, whom they blamed for sexual violence, extrajudicial killings, disappearances and torture of innocent citizens. Yet nothing was done. Instead, the officers were congratulated for being ‘firm’.
The police were also called out on several occasions for being openly biased in political contests and being a tool of oppression.
Recently, reports surfaced of the killings of over 15 young men residing in the city slums allegedly by police, yet no concrete step has been taken to hold the suspects accountable.
Also, the implementation of the “Michuki rules”, which saw thousands of public transport operators arrested countrywide in a degrading and inhuman manner, should be relooked at.
Such unresponsiveness by the authorities to complaints has led to citizens losing faith in police mechanisms to self-correct itself and abide by the constitutional Bill of Rights and international best practices contained in treaties that Kenya has ratified.
Elvis Salano, via email.