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Why we must all guard against assault on press freedom

Main Topix: Kenya Information And Communication Act - National Police Service Act
This week marked a dark day for press freedom, as the first Inspector-General of what should be a reformed Police Service under the new Constitution, aimed the first salvo against the very essence of the reforms that Kenyans have for decades been fighting for. David Kimaiyo, who should have known better made it clear on Wednesday that journalists will be arrested and prosecuted over their coverage of the Westgate Mall terror attack and security response. And yesterday, a Mr George Ojuka, a senior superintendent of police, dispatched summonses to the CEO of the Standard Group, Mr Sam Shollei, and two investigative editors of broadcast wing KTN, Messrs John Allan-Namu and Mohamed Ali, compelling them to visit the CID Kilimani station for an inquiry under Section 52 of the National Police Service Act 2011. Mr Ojuka said he was making an inquiry into “the alleged offence of unlawful sending of misleading messages contrary to Section 44 of the Kenya Information and Communication Act”. The police action came one day after Kimaiyo accused journalists of “provoking propaganda and inciting Kenyans against the...

Officer interdicted over hate on Facebook

Main Topix: National Police Service Reform Committees - National Police Service Association
Inspector General of police David Kimaiyo speaking during the launch of the National Police Service Reform Committees. A police officer has been interdicted on suspicions that he spread hate messages on social media. “All those operating social media (accounts) in the name of police and issuing hate statements or using undisciplined dirty language, will be traced and if found, will have themselves to blame,” he said. Mr Kimaiyo added that whereas police were free to join Facebook, they should do so using their names. The police chief further directed his officers to steer away from politics. “The National Police Service Act 2011, is clear on the disciplined service, that they cannot be members of any registered or non-registered organization other than the National Police Service Association,” he said. The police chief himself has for some time operated a Facebook page and a Twitter account, a departure from former police bosses before him. The Kenya Police opened similar accounts last week, saying they would be used to give regular security updates to the media and the public. Mr Kimaiyo issued the...
  • CapitalFM
    Join social media but observe ethics, Kimaiyo tells officers
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Join social media but observe ethics, Kimaiyo tells officers

Main Topix: Inspector General Of Police David Kimaiyo - National Police Service Association
Kimaiyo Says That All Officers Of The National Police Service Will Not Be Members Of Clubs. Photo  FILEKimaiyo says that all officers of the National Police Service will not be members of clubs. NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo has warned police officers against involving themselves in party politics or joining other associations or groups other than the National Police Service Association. Kimaiyo says that all officers of the National Police Service are not and will not be members of clubs, associations or societies other than those existing for the purposes of recreation like sport, education or social activities. In a statement, the police chief says officers must be guided by the National Police Service Act of 2011 which states that police officers shall not be members of any registered or non-registered organisation other than the National Police Service Association. While officers are allowed to have social media accounts, Kimaiyo warns them against being part of group accounts which some of them use to spew hate speech or comment on matters while hiding behind illegal groups. “All those operating social media in the name of police and issuing hate statement or dirty...
  • The Daily Nation
    400 riot police officers deployed after chaotic protests by hawkers

Do not expand police powers, urges rights group

Main Topix: Independent Police Oversight Authority - National Police Service Commission Act
Human Rights Watch has urged Kenyan law makers to reject proposed amendments to the National Police Service Act of 2011 and the National Police Service Commission Act of 2011. The rights group fears that this move could increase worrying extrajudicial killings, and endanger the long-awaited police reforms. The proposed amendments could exacerbate worrying patterns of police abuse and extrajudicial killings, and jeopardize the long-awaited police reforms, Human Rights Watch said. The amendments seek to expand the legal use of firearms to include protecting property and preventing someone charged with a serious crime from escaping lawful custody. The Kenyan police have regularly been implicated in extrajudicial killings and other serious abuses prior to the 2007-2008 post-election violence. The amendments also enhance the influence of the president and cabinet secretary for Interior and National Coordination over the police and the commission. Kenyan lawmakers have been urged to reject amendments to police laws that would expand the legal use of firearms and weaken civilian oversight over police abuses, Human Rights Watch said Thursday. “Kenyan lawmakers shouldn’t be expanding police powers when there are...

MPs criticise police lipstick rule

A police boss has been taken to task over a directive barring women officers from applying make-up. MPs on Monday criticised Deputy Inspector General Grace Kaindi for barring women police officers from applying make-up and adorning other beauty accessories. Ms Kaindi directed that female police officers should not wear lipstick or fashionable clothes, bangles and big earrings while on duty. The circular reference C/CUS/VOL.VIII/16G warns that any officer found with the banned items will have breached Force Standing Order CAP 37 and the National Police Service Act 2011 Section 87-88 and will be punished. But on Monday, members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Administration and National Security termed the directive as archaic, extreme, petty and undermined individual rights. Led by Baringo Women Representatives Grace Kiptui, they said female police officers valued accessories and had a personal attachment to them. “Being a lady I know the value and the attachment we put to our jewellery. I do not see why female officers should be barred from wearing earrings,” she said. Wajir North MP Ibrahim Abdi Saney said the directive was...

Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri spends night in cell for assault

Nakuru, Kenya: Bahati Member of Parliament (MP) Kimani Ngunjiri has been charged in a Nakuru court with six counts related to an incident where he assaulted a traffic policewoman. Resident Magistrate Rita Amwayi, however, remanded the legislator in police custody for a day after the prosecution said the investigation had not been completed. The MP faced two separate charges after he allegedly assaulted police officer Maria Mutheo while she was on official duty in Nakuru town on Thursday evening. In the first set of three counts, Ngunjiri denied obstructing a police officer while in her due execution of police duties on August 15. He also denied resisting arrest contrary to section 103 (a) of the National Police Service Act 2011. The third count stated that on the same day he assaulted the same police officer. The MP faces other three traffic offences including failing to observe traffic rules, failure to observe verbal instructions by the said officer and driving a defective motor vehicle. He denied all the counts. His lawyer David Mongeri applied for the court to release his client...

Police use of guns in self defense criticized

A matatu tout is tonight receiving treatment at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital after he was shot by a policeman earlier today. The policeman has since recorded a statement and has been set free. This brings to light the pending introduction of a contentious clause in the national police service act that allows the police to use their firearms in self-defense KTN’s Ben Kitilli reports....

Ipoa: Amending Act 'will licence police to kill at will'

The Independent Police Oversight Authority has described introduction of a contentious clause in the National Police Service Act as granting police officers a blank cheque to commit extra-judicial executions. Ipoa chairman Macharia Njeru warned the proposed amendment to the Act, introducing a clause to allow police to use their firearms to protect property and deal with suspects escaping from lawful custody would only encourage trigger-happy officers to misuse their firearms. However, his proposal caused a major clash with some members of the parliamentary committee on National Administration and Security defending the clause, saying it will help in dealing with armed and well known criminals, who are a major threat to police officers. Njeru argued the police could still rely on stipulations of Schedule Six of the Act, which allows them to use their firearms in the event their lives or that of colleagues are in danger. “We are afraid the introduction of Section 54 will only give room for extra-judicial killings. If the amendment is passed, Parliament will be giving police additional avenue to use their firearms for extra-judicial killings,”...

Don't give police more powers to kill, torture

Skip to the navigationchannel.links.navigation.skip.label. A week ago, a colleague sent out an e-mail to a listserve for the human-rights community asking whether a “shoot to kill” policy was in effect. She was referring to a statement made in Baragoi by the Cabinet Secretary for Internal Security Joseph ole Lenku. She forwarded an e-mail from another colleague noting that proposed amendments to Schedule Six of the National Police Service Act, 2011, will give the police the power to shoot to “protect property” — as opposed to self-defence or in response to imminent threat. This colleague was nervous about the fact that nothing is being either said or done about the ongoing “clean-up” at the Coast. His claim is that extrajudicial executions of those suspected of being linked to Al Shabaab and the Mombasa Republican Council continue, below the radar. There is a working group on extrajudicial executions under the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. There is also a working group on police reform. Although the latter did useful work on the vetting of the new Police Inspector-General, the presence of...

Cord MPs walk out of House in Bills row

PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE Parliament Buildings, Nairobi.MPs from the Cord coalition last evening staged a walk-out from the National Assembly to protest what they termed a tendency by the Jubilee side to use their “tyranny of numbers” to push through whatever they want. The MPs walked out en masse, frustrating