DPP gives IPOA 21 days to investigate Rex Masai shooting

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has given the Independent Police Oversight Authority (Ipoa) 21 days to investigate the shooting of Rex Kanyike Masai, an anti-Finance Bill 2024 protester who was shot dead on Thursday night.

In a statement on Friday, the DPP said the late Masai, 29, was shot within the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) and died while undergoing treatment at Bliss Health Care Centre, Moi Avenue.

“Pursuant to the provisions of article 157(4) of the Constitution, the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed the Independent Police Oversight Authority to carry out thorough and comprehensive investigations into the matter,” part of the statement read in part.

“Thereafter, the resultant inquiry file together with the report should be forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) not later than twenty-one (21) days from the date hereof.”

A post-mortem on Friday confirmed that Masai died from excessive bleeding from the gunshot.

Speaking to Nation.Africa, Gillian Munyao, Rex’s mother, revealed that reports from both the government and the family’s pathologists indicated that Rex had sustained a fatal wound to his thigh, resulting in significant blood loss.

During the Tuesday and Thursday protests, police fired tear gas and water cannons at largely peaceful protesters in various counties as lawmakers were debating proposals to bring in new taxes.

Amnesty International on their part accused the police of using excessive force to contain protesters, many of whom were arrested.

The DPP’s directive came after IPOA issued a statement saying that it has launched an investigation into the young protesters’ death.

“Accordingly, and in accordance to Section 7 of the IPOA Act, the Authority has this morning launched investigations into the fatal shooting and our investigation team has since established contact with the family of Mr. Masai,” Ipoa Chairperson Anne Makori said.

Ms Makori appealed to the police to exercise restraint when dealing with unarmed members of the public during peaceful demonstrations.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Red Cross Society said that 39 people were injured in Thursday’s protests, and eight of the critically injured ones have been evacuated to Kenyatta National Hospital for specialized treatment.

One police officer was admitted to hospital with a hip injury after he fell while escaping from the crowd.

Despite the protests, the Finance Bill, 2024 passed the second reading stage with 204 MPs voting to approve it against 115 who rejected it.

The Bill now proceeds to the Committee of the whole House for consideration of proposed amendments.

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