In Kenya cases of police brutality has risen in the past years often resulting in unnecessary deaths. Recently two brothers Emmanuel and Ndwiga from Embu are said to have died in police custody where according to one of the witnesses who has already recorded his statement, Emmanuel 19, was the first to be arrested. He said the officers started assaulting him, prompting Ndwiga, his elder brother, to come to his rescue. They allegedly hit him on the head and he lay motionless on the ground. It is unclear what happened, but police later reported that the two jumped out of a moving vehicle while being transferred to the station.
Detectives from the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) have already begun investigating the deaths and are expected to complete their investigation next week.
The main role of the police service is to prevent, control, detect and investigate crime. But in practice, its members act more like a paramilitary unit trained to deal with conflict and serious disorder. This orientation takes on a different nuance in how the police approach and treat civilians. Another factor that contributes to violent behaviour is the recruitment process. Corruption, nepotism, tribalism and professional misconduct are all part of the process
There is also a gap in the investigation of violent, sudden and suspicious deaths at the hands of the police.
The way officers are recruited must also change and be made more transparent. Individuals must be properly vetted by the National Intelligence Service. For instance, any criminal records must be scrutinised. The vetting of police officers should also be a continuous exercise to weed out rogue elements. There must be more emphasis on their training. This should include the development of a policing policy which would cover, among other things, how the police should interact with communities. No such policy exists.