NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 22- The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) and the Police Internal Affairs Unit have launched an investigation following an assault against several women during a security operation in Nairobi’s Kileleshwa estate on Saturday night.
The group was attending a get-together party when more than 40 police officers in the command of Deputy Officer in charge of Operations in Nairobi, a Mr. Samuel Boit.
“We had finished by 8:30 pm and police arrived at 9:10pm as we were leaving,” said Angela Muiruri, a Capital FM News Presenter who is a former Miss Kenya-USA.
She said the officers, ordered them out and whipped them at the parking lot where they separated foreigners from locals, leaving several with injuries before they were driven to Muthangari Police Station where they were booked in.
“The police officers were very aggressive even though we very calm and cooperated with them,” she said.
She said the commander of the operation, a Mr Boit, was so ruthless and was agitated when she questioned him on how he was handling ladies.
“I told him that he should not be mishandling women and that is when he got aggressive and whipped me,” Angela said, displaying the injuries she sustained. Another officer also slapped her, she said.
The information is corroborated in a short video that went viral on social media.
In the video, a man in civilian clothes can be seen whipping Angela. This man was identified as Mr Samuel Boit, who was in charge of the operation, having identified himself at the operation.
When one of the girls reportedly asked him why they beat people instead of arresting them, he said, “yes this is what we do and there is nothing you can do about it.”
They were then escorted into a waiting lorry at the gate and driven to Muthangari Police Station where they were booked, only to be freed at 3am, having parted with Sh1,000.
“We were, however, forced to sign a paper that indicated that we had been granted free bond for violating night curfew despite having paid Sh1,000 each,” Angela said.
In the video, Angela can be heard pleading with the senior officer, but her pleas fell on deaf ears instead attracted more assault.
In her pursuit of justice the following day, Angela was turned away from Kilelesha, Kilimani and Central Police Stations where officers were afraid of recording the incident on learning that it would implicate their senior.
“Kilelshwa referred me to the Regional Police Headquarters where officers refered me to Central Police Station. At the Regional Police Headquarters, police said they do not take such statements,” she said, “and at Central Police Station, I was refered to Kilimani and on arrival, they declined to give me an OB and refered me back to Kileleshwa.”
Angela said she decided to seek treatment at the Nairobi Hospital when she realised that she was engaging in an exercise in futility.
On Monday, Edward Mbugua, the Deputy Inspector General in Charge of the Kenya Police took over the matter and facilitated her and other victims to record statements at the KICC Police Station before she was escorted to obtain a P3.
The matter is now under investigation by the Internal Affairs Unit of the National Police Service.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) also took over the matter after it went viral on social media.
“I was contacted by IPOA and I recorded a statement, I have shared with them all the evidence I have because all I want is justice,” she told this writer.
“Yes it is true we have taken over the case about some ladies who were assaulted in Kileleshwa,” a senior IPOA official said.
But in what has raised questions on the police commitment to investigate the matter, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai signed off a statement Monday saying those injured in the incident were trying to escape arrest, despite existing videos showing police brutality.