The police oversight authority has launched investigations into the shooting that led to the loss of six lives and left several others injured in Isebania, Migori County on May 23.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) on Saturday, May 27, said a Rapid Response Team from Kisumu had been dispatched to Isebania police station in Kuria West Sub-County to launch investigations into the deaths and injuries.
The shooting occurred as police officers from the station attempted to restore peace through a public order management operation.
IPOA chairperson Ann Makori has also called upon members of the public to maintain peace and observe lawfulness as the Authority investigates the matter, adding that they will be impartial, fair and transparent.
“Upon conclusion of its investigations, the Authority shall take appropriate action including recommending to the Director of Public Prosecutions the prosecution of any person found culpable,” she said.
The Service Standing Orders stipulate that a police officer shall always attempt to use non-violent means first. Also, the force used shall be proportional to the objective to be achieved, the seriousness of the offence, and the resistance of the person against whom it is used.
Trouble at the station started on May 21 when businessman Moses Mwangi Mugure was shot at his business premise by eight armed criminals who escaped on a motorbike to the neighbouring Sirare town in Tanzania.
Chaos followed that paralysed transport and business activities along the Isebania-Sirare highway as locals bitterly protested the killing of the businessman in Isebania town.
The irate residents said they are worried by the ever-rising spate of insecurity within the town and its environs which they suspect were being perpetrated by Kenyan and Tanzania criminals.
They have blamed the police for their ineptness to deal with the bold criminals who even attacked their victims in broad daylight.
At least six people have been attacked in the last three months, according to the business community led by Kehancha Municipal chair Matiko Bohoko and Samuel Kiboye.
They demanded the officers manning the Isebania police station are transferred to other places, further claiming that the officers were aiding armed thugs who often disappear into the neighbouring country Tanzania immediately after committing crimes.
"We now want all the police manning this town to be transferred because when it comes to responding to criminals’ raids, they are nowhere to assist," Kiboye stated.
The Migori County Commissioner Gitonga however gave an assurance of addressing their concerns, saying any security persons found colluding with criminals or sleeping on his or her duty would be punished accordingly.
He also committed to investigating claims of residents’ harassment by the police who on the other hand are not ready to deal with criminals.
The Migori security team led by the Gitonga and County police commander Mark Wanjala last week engaged their Tanzania counterparts in talks aimed at helping apprehend criminals who most of the time escape to Tanzania after committing crimes in Kenya.
On Thursday, May 25 at around 4.30 pm, a group of locals escorting the body of the slain businessman from St Akidiva Mindira Mabera Hospital mortuary raided the station.
Police said they smashed the windows of the OCS office, armoury and other offices.
"They started destroying the gates of the cells, demanding the release of the prisoners in custody prompting the shooting by live ammunition,” the local police commander said on Thursday.
"Unfortunately, this resulted in the death of four unidentified goons. The attack on the station was premeditated by Peter Hamisi Chacha, John Musa, Nsato Alias Manywele who was driving the pick-up full of stones," a police report reads.
During the incident, a police officer identified as Constable Idi Mwijuma was also injured.