KDF clash with police in Westlands spark new investigation

The supremacy battles between the military and the police reared its ugly head yet again over the weekend after several Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers attacked two police officers in Westlands, Nairobi County.

The undercover police officers, who are attached to Spring Valley Police Station in Westlands, were conducting an operation within the city when the incident happened.

The two officers, whose identities cannot be revealed due to security concerns, were on routine patrol along the Kitusuru Road when they spotted a suspected notorious thug riding a motorcycle.

“They trailed the motorbike to Waiyaki Way and managed to intercept it at the Red Hill area. While they were still interrogating the suspect, three military soldiers manning Kabete Barracks intervened with the intention of rescuing the suspect from the police officers even after the officers introduced themselves,” a police report filed at Springs Valley Police Station read.

Police say that Mr Momanyi was assaulted and sustained injuries on the right leg and was rushed to South B Hospital for treatment.

During the commotion, more soldiers attached to the military arrived and left with the motorcycle rider into the Kabete Barracks.

This prompted the two police officers to reach out to their bosses who rushed to the scene.

The police officers then decided to leave the scene as they did not want a confrontation to take place.

On Saturday night, he was taken by the military soldiers to Spring Valley Police Station without the motorcycle.

However, yesterday police officers managed to take the motorbike from Kabete Barracks to the station.

Nairobi County police boss, Mr Adamson Bungei, has in the past asked police officers to be vigilant, especially in cases of motorcycle riders engaging in crime, especially in the city.

In April, Mr Bungei while issuing a stern warning to mobile phone dealers, asked police officers to ensure that they deal with motorcycle gangs.

“A number of operators will be arrested and taken to court. We are serious because a number of Kenyans have lost their phones,” Bungei said.

It is a common trend in the city for pillion riders on motorbikes to snatch phones. Later, after the phones are stolen, they are taken to dealers and gadget engineers.

“If you are a mobile phone technician or repairer, stop handling stolen gadgets. You will be an accomplice to the crime if you are found,” Bungei added.

This comes barely two weeks after KDF soldiers attacked police officers at the Likoni channel in Mombasa.

In a video that went viral, a KDF officer was seen slapping a Kenya Ferry Service guard and then walking towards a Kenya Police officer, who tried to intervene, flanked by colleagues who were all carrying guns.

All this happened as citizens watched the altercation with amusement. At the end of the melee, two police officers sustained injuries.

It was later established that the KDF soldiers were heading back to Mtongwe Navy base when the incident occurred.

In response, the KDF said it had launched a probe into the incident which attracted public condemnation.

“To establish the circumstances leading to the incident, military police and requisite investigation agencies are currently handling the matter,” a statement issued by the KDF read.

“The incident is highly regrettable. As KDF personnel, we are beholden to the core value of professionalism,” the statement added.

Just 10 days before the Likoni Ferry incident, police in Lodwar arrested KDF soldiers who slapped and disarmed their colleague at a roadblock.

Police reports showed that the KDF soldiers were riding in a water bowser when the incident occurred at about 11am after the police manning the roadblock at Mt Kenya area, delayed in clearing the road for the vehicle to pass.

“The driver of the said water bowser alighted and slapped the officer on his right cheek. Another officer alighted using the passenger door and grabbed his rifle, an AK47 assault rifle, and cocked immediately,” the police report said.

“He uttered the words, “Sisi tumeua Al-Shabaab wengi, naweza kumaliza wewe sai.” (We have slain many Al-Shabaab militants and I can finish you right now)

The attacked police officer, Cleophas Makhapila, was in the company of three other officers from the Turkana County enforcement department.

Police reports stated that the KDF officer ordered the officer, whose firearm he had taken to go on his knees, but he refused to the chagrin of the KDF man, who told the traffic officer to collect his rifle at Loturerei camp, where they are based. The KDF soldiers then went towards Lodwar town.

Mr Makhapila informed the Sub County Police Commander (SCPC) Turkana Central, Boit about the incident.

A patrol was mobilised quickly and shortly after, the water bowser was spotted heading towards Moi Garden within Lodwar town where KDF usually collect their water.

Three KDF soldiers were seated under a shade, while the driver was inside the water bowser, police said.

The driver of the bowser attempted to resist arrest but demurred when the police shot in the air. Two AK47 assault rifles were recovered from inside the cabin of the water bowser.

Still, the KDF soldiers were requested to drive their water bowser to the station and establish what had transpired but they refused.

Their commander who was wearing a badge sergeant said that they were not going to the station, a response that prompted the soldiers’ arrest and escorted them to Lodwar Police station.

“The driver of the water bowser refused to hand over the ignition keys and it was left at Moi Garden where they had parked.”

SCPC Boit was given an update on the happenings and immediately rushed to the scene of arrest where he spoke with Lt DO Okelo who instructed his officers to get back to the vehicle and calm the situation.

In September 2023, police arrested a KDF officer identified as Eugene Ayisi and accused him of robbery with violence, with some of the accounts of events dating back to 2022.

In one particular account, Mr Ayisi was captured on camera stealing a phone at a nightclub on September 23, 2022.

Ayisi, dressed in a white shirt and dark jeans, was seen sitting at a table enjoying drinks with two ladies when he noticed one of the women’s phones perched on the table.

In 2020, a KDF officer attached to Kahawa Garrison known as Edwin Lemiso Sirinkit was shot dead following a series of complaints from locals residing in Mwihoko, Kiambu County.

The complaints prompted undercover police officers to conduct a patrol along Mwihoko-Githurai Road and managed to nab the KDF officer while robbing a victim.

The KDF officer, then identified as a lone gunman was armed with a G3 riffle. The police challenged him to surrender, but instead, he opened fire which forced the police to shoot him dead.

The injured officer was rushed to Nairobi West Hospital for treatment.

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