A Critique of police oversight mechanisms in Kenya with regard to extrajudicial killings
Njoroge, Joy Wanjiku
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In 2016, there were 152 complaints made relating to police shootings and deaths. This is a problem insofar as there are two bodies that are tasked with police oversight in Kenya. This study was aimed at finding out why this is the case. This is because with two oversight bodies and a robust legal framework, it would be expected that the number of extrajudicial killings should have reduced. This study will also look at whether there are any weaknesses with the current oversight system in comparison with the previous system in order to establish what needs to be improved. This study has been conducted through the literature review of legislation in Kenya that provides for police oversight as well as reports which show what has been happening on the ground. It has established that there are various challenges posed to police oversight over extrajudicial killings. These are the failure of accountability, investigation and proper law enforcement; the widespread nature of extrajudicial killings and police involvement in the extrajudicial killings; inadequate mandate and resources and improper co-ordination of internal and external oversight mechanisms. This has led to the oversight mechanisms being inadequate despite the existence of an extensive legal regime. This study proposes that IAU be given a clear mandate as well as IPOA being given prosecutorial powers in order for these mechanisms to adequately discharge of their mandate and ensure that the number of extrajudicial killings in the country reduce.