Four police officers were exonerated after a legal review showed that the complaints brought against them by civilians to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) did not warrant being charged.

IPOA Performance Report July – December 2022, a new report released by the Authority showed that between between July and December of 2022, the Authority received and processed 1,777 complaints.

The complaints range from police action, enforced disappearance, sexual offenses, abuse of office, and physical assault among others.

Out of the 1,777 complaints, the Authority investigated 367 cases.


Besides the four complaints recommended for closure after investigation and legal review, 181 cases are before court and 147 have been forwarded to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for further action.

Further, 1,410 complaints were not investigated for various reasons, among them being non-mandate issues in which case, the Authority is permitted to refer the cases to relevant institutions.

Some complaints received do not make it to investigations because of various reasons including preliminary inquiry by the Authority which absolve police of accusations, withdrawal by complainant and when the matter is already before Court.

The law also permits the Authority to refuse to conduct an investigation in some cases it deems vexatious or frivolous, under Section 24(8) of the IPOA Act.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

In some cases, the complainants through the facilitation of the Authority, adopted to dispose off the complaints through alternative dispute resolution.

The sole conviction made from July to December 2022 was against one corporal Martin Chege who was convicted of assault and fined Kshs. 20,000 and a default culminating in serving a jail term of four months.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) Act No. 35 of 2011 requires the Authority to ensure independent oversight of the handling of complaints against National Police Service.

(1) The Authority shall submit to the Cabinet Secretary, at least once in every six months, a report of the performance of the functions of the Authority, making such recommendations as it may consider necessary, and the Cabinet Secretary shall, within fourteen days after receiving such report, cause it to be publicized and laid before the National Assembly, or if the National Assembly is not then in session, on the day that the National Assembly resumes its sittings.

Lodging Complaints

The Authority executed this function through the receipt and processing of complaints lodged by police officers and members of the public. This is accomplished through independent cross-examination of all complaints lodged to assess any involvement of members of the National Police Service or otherwise.

The IPOA Act provides that the Authority may receive and investigate complaints related to disciplinary or criminal offenses committed by members of the National Police Service when the complaints are reported by members of the public, members of the National Police Service or on the Authority’s own initiative.

All complaints received by the Authority are taken through a categorization process. Complaints that do not involve murder, assault or causing grievous harm are taken through the Case Intake Committee for deliberation before further processing. The committee then makes recommendations for Investigations, inspections and monitoring.