A Case for vesting the independent policing and oversight authority with proprietorial functions
Kerubo, Laura Ongoto
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The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) is an organ which was formed for the purposes of police accountability through civilian oversight over the work of the police in Kenya. IPOA seeks to provide robust civilian oversight over the police in a way that will promote public trust and confidence in the National Police Service (NPS), and its mandate is to conduct impartial and independent investigations over member of the police service against whom complaints have been lodged and monitoring the NPS to prevent impunity and enhance professionalism in the interest of the public. IPOA is an organ which was formed by an Act of Parliament in 2011, due to the greater demand for police accountability. IPOA has been given powers and functions under the IPOA Act which enable it to investigate the police, however, it faces challenges when executing these functions because it has not been given enough powers that would make the members of the NPS submit to the powers of IPOA. There have been challenges of non-cooperation from the NPS and even the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) which is mandated to prosecute members of the police who have been recommended to it by IPOA. In order to curb the issue of impunity in the police service, it is important to furnish IPOA with more powers over the police for them to execute their functions to their full capacity.