IPOA responds to IG Koome’s criticism

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) has defended its mandate following criticism from the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome. 

On Saturday, Ipoa Chairperson Anne Makori said that all national security organs in the country are subordinate to civilian authority, citing Article 244 of the Constitution which requires the police to promote and practice transparency and accountability in their work.  

Makori was responding to comments made by Koome at a memorial service for fallen officers on Friday, in which he claimed that the Ipoa was only investigating cases involving police errors and not officers killed in the line of duty. 

“Do not be intimidated by busybodies whose work is to recommend the arresting of officers and today I don’t see them here,” Koome said. 

In response, Makori said, “For the ten years the Authority has been in existence, rightfully, it has been busy, ultimately to ensure that Kenyans have confidence in the men and women in uniform – the police – in whom they entrust their lives and property on a daily basis.” 

The IG also reiterated that the police would not be intimidated, urging officers to use their firearms within the confines of the law to protect their lives and the public. 

Makori rejected Koome’s “shot-to-kill” orders, saying that the same law that allows for the use of force also requires accountability for any loss of life or serious injuries resulting from police action. 

“Police officers where criminal culpability has been established, that is after investigations, it is individuals who have been called to account: not the Service, not a Unit, and it is expected that there will be compliance with the Sixth Schedule, Part C on specific responsibilities of superior officers from issuing unlawful orders,” she said. 

The tensions between the Ipoa and the Inspector General of Police come as the country grapples with concerns over police brutality and accountability.  

According to Koome, 57 police and prison officers have died in the line of duty in 2022 alone.

The fallen heroes and heroines include 30 from the Kenya police, 19 from the Administration Police, four from the Kenya Prisons Service and three from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI).

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