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Press Statement: The IGP & IPOA Must Produce and Charge Rogue Officers
June 21, 2024
A press statement issued by Inuka Kenya Ni Sisi on police brutality.

The recent protests by Gen Z and Kenyans in general across the country, demanding for the rejection of the Finance Bill 2024, are an exercise of their rights and responsibilities as enshrined in Article 37 of the Constitution of Kenya. This article states that “Every person has the right, peaceably and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket, and to present petitions to public authorities.” That they wanted to Occupy Parliament is as a result of a representation failure: their Members of Parliament have failed to listen to them and therefore wanted to exercise their sovereignty, articulated in Article 1, directly.

This is their right. The protestors were also peaceful and orderly. On the Tuesday 18th June protest, police teargassed, violated, brutalized and sought to break up their protests. They further arrested more than 300 persons for ridiculous reasons and levelled frivolous charges on them – holding some of them overnight in dingy cells. The courts rejected these charges. On the Thursday 20th June protests, police lobbed teargas, deployed water cannons, brutalized and violated the protesters throughout the day. Data accessed from the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) indicate that at least 105 people were arrested: 20 in Nairobi, 2 in Garissa, 3 in Kisumu, 4 in Vihiga, 4 in Narok, 70 in Uasin Gishu (Eldoret) and 2 in Nakuru.

Another 200 individuals sustained injuries in Nairobi and Kisumu, ranging from fractures, and soft tissue injuries to severe rubber bullet wounds and tear gas inhalation. Furthermore, the confirmation of live shootings verified by spent cartridges points to negligence and unlawful action on the part of the police. The Inspector General of Police (IGP) who has the overall command responsibility, has not taken any action – a pointer that he gave those orders and therefore supports the brutalisation of Kenyans by rogue officers.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), which monitors and oversees the conduct of police officers has not done anything substantive as Kenyans suffer police brutality. We note that the recent IPOA statement on police conduct during the Finance Bill 2024 demonstrations [Ref. No. IPOA/CEO/PRESS/19 (25)] reveals a troubling pattern of systemic negligence and failure to uphold their mandate. Despite IPOA’s acknowledgement of Mr Rex Masai’s tragic death and numerous severe injuries during these protests, their response appears grossly inadequate. IPOA’s cursory call for restraint and vague commitments to impartiality starkly contrast with the harrowing realities on the ground. This discrepancy underscores a significant lapse in proactive monitoring, timely intervention, and rigorous accountability measures, which are fundamental to IPOA’s role. IPOA’s response remains tepid, reflecting a worrying complacency. This negligence not only betrays public trust but also perpetuates a culture of impunity within the police force. IPOA must urgently reassess its strategies, enhance its responsiveness, and enforce accountability to serve and protect the public interest truly.

In the evening of 20th June 2024 in Nairobi, a police officer was captured on video shooting a protester who was fleeing from tear gas. The protester, 29-year-old Rex Kanyike Masai, died from the gunshot wound. This was an execution – an insidious manifestation of extra-judicial killing. We demand justice for Rex Kanyike Masai. He was shot with a live bullet by an officer to whom he posed no threat. Section 61 (2) and Schedule Six of the National Police Service Act gives clear guidelines on when a police officer should use a firearm. None of these circumstances was obtaining. As such the officer has committed a crime and must be held accountable for it.

We demand that

  1. Japheth Koome, the IGP, must produce the killer officer and that the Directorate of Criminal Investigation charges him formally in a court of law for this crime. Failure to do so means that he has failed in his sworn duty and must resign immediately.
  2. IPOA must ensure that all other officers who have lobbed teargas, water cannons and/or violated the protesters in any other way are arrested and charged appropriately. If it is not able to do this, it should be disbanded forthwith.


Kawive, Wambua,
Deputy Executive Officer,
Inuka Kenya Ni Sisi!