Friday, June 09 2023
IPOA moves to clear backlog of cold cases.
In a first of its kind since the inception of IPOA, IPOA’s investigators in leadership roles retreated to share, reflect and come up with strategies of enhanced investigative processes. This novel approach was led by Commissioner Dr. Walter Ogony at the Morendat Institute of Oil and Gas in Naivasha.
The five-day exercise was officially closed by Chairperson, Mrs. Anne Makori.
Over 200 case files were determined closed mainly due to want of complainants and non-cooperation by partner investigation agencies.
Apart from Dr. Ogony’s emphasis on a keen review process to reduce cover points, the investigators were also addressed by a representative of the DPP who created awareness on the evidence review process at the ODPP level. CEO Mr. Elema Halake, DI, Ag. DCL, HOI, Ag. HORRF, all PIOs drawn from across the regions and the were present.
IPOA Motivates Students On Policing
The CEO, Mr. Elema Halake delivered a virtual lecture on June 8, 2023 to students from University of Pretoria, South Africa on “Duty to investigate with a focus on Practical Challenges and learning from IPOA’s perspective”. The lecture is part of a series of lectures lined up under the one-week programme on Advanced Human Rights Course which begun on 5th June 2023 and set to conclude on 9th June 2023.
The course focuses on Accountable Policing: Oversight and the criminal justice system. The session attracted over 50 students from across the region.
Mr. Halake highlighted the background of Police Accountability, existing internal and external police oversight mechanisms in Kenya, the duty to investigate, challenges and lessons learnt from IPOA’s perspective and the emerging issues from sampled IPOA cases.
The session elicited inquiries on independence of the Authority, IPOA’s collaboration with KNCHR, whether the proposed IPOA regulations address issues of witness protection and conduct of parallel investigations to avoid delay in making of decision to charge or not among others.
IPOA Regulations: Finally, Light At the End of the Tunnel
Bright future beckons for Kenyans aggrieved by actions of the police and who seek refuge at the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.
This is after the Committee of the Board assigned this task, amidst its busy schedule, created time to ensure that enactment of the pending Regulations of IPOA Act is fast-tracked.
Under the stewardship of Commissioner Doreen Muthaura, IPOA Ad-hoc team of the Board is holed up at Machakos, burning the midnight oil, with the purpose of ensuring that feedback from parliament is incorporated into the Regulations; before they are legally binding.
Commissioners Fatuma Mohamed, Hon, Dr Praxedes Tororey and Hon. JM. Waiganjo are part of the team.
Under the stewardship of Mr. Festus Kinoti, Head of Legal, the committee is supported by the secretariat – Bernadette Mutie and Christine Owino
IPOA: Public Goodwill Is Key To Our Investigations
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority has called on the public to volunteer information on police misconduct in order to ensure there is accountability in the Police Service.
And such information would be treated with utmost confidentiality to protect the identity of the sources, the Authority also assured, including by engaging the Witness Protection Agency.
This was part of a discussion during a current affairs programme at Ramogi TV, in which IPOA’s Head of Investigations Mr. Evans Okeyo renewed an appeal to the public sharing information with the Authority whenever incidents of police excesses occur.
“When members of the public share information with us, it helps us to come up with a watertight cases within the shortest time possible,” he said.
He further assured the audiences that investigations into the fatal shooting of a Maseno University student and the killing of another man in Kondele during Azimio La Umoja demonstrations in Kisumu last month were almost complete.
“We have identified officers who were at the two scenes. We are just waiting for the ballistic analysis report,” Mr Okeyo said, urging members of the public who collected spent cartridges from the shooting scenes to surrender them to IPOA.
The TV station broadcasts in Dholuo language.
Regarding the shooting of a Form 2 student in Kisumu, the head of investigations said preliminary reports indicate the force used was not justified. He said the officers involved have been grilled and that the probe is almost through.
He acknowledged that the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions last week approved the charging of eight police officers for various offenses after IPOA completed investigations, and that currently, at least 120 cases involving police officers are pending in court.
“We only share our investigations report with the Office of the DPP. Not members of the public and this has led to the belief that we are slow or not working effectively,” he said.