Police Officers implicated in the murder of 6-month-old baby Samantha Pendo during the 2017 post-election unrest in Kisumu will face the charges before the end of this month.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji said his office was in the final stages of collecting documentary evidence before the case is taken to court.
Haji called for calm saying the case had taken time since the prosecution was still reviewing the files to ensure that the case goes through once taken to court.
“I want to assure you that those implicated will face the full force of the law. All we want is to present a watertight case in court so that we don’t lose,” he said.
On February 14th 2019, an inquest into the death of the infant indicted five police commanders for overseeing brutality and subsequent killing of Pendo.
They are Titus Yoma, former Kisumu County Police Commander, Christopher Mutune, former Kisumu Central OCPD, Bernard Koima, former area Deputy AP Commander, Linah Kosgey, the then Nyalenda OCS and John Thiringi, the OCS for Kisumu Central at that time.
Kisumu Senior Resident Magistrate Beryl Omollo ruled that there was sufficient evidence pointing to culpability of members of the national Police Service in the death of the baby.
“We are looking at those who were in the command structure at the same time gathering material evidence to convince the court,” said Haji.
Speaking in Kisumu Tuesday during a meeting to sensitize the community on plea bargaining and diversion as alternatives to resolution of cases, the DPP cautioned police officers against use of excessive force to ensure that similar incidents don’t recur.
He said Police officers must only use force when there is threat to their lives and that of the public.
“Any police officer accused of using excessive force, the office of the DPP shall be investigating to establish whether the force used was commensurate to the force applied,” he said.
The DPP added that his office has prepared guidelines to help deal with traffic offences which are on the increase.
The guidelines, he added, stipulate how traffic police officers are expected to handle the cases and avenues available for offenders to avoid ending up in court.
“We are looking at how some of these petty traffic offences can be handled at that level without necessarily being taken to court,” he said.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Dorcas Oduor said the office was championing the use of plea bargaining and diversion to help reduce the number of cases in court.
“Through these tools, two parties can reach an agreement and the offender returns the stolen property for example and agree to pay some fine for the offence and the matter is settled without necessarily going to court,” she said.