Alleged Kenyan police killing of girl, baby in vote-related violence likely to reach court: official

NAIROBI– Kenya’s police monitor said on Monday investigations into the alleged killings by police of a girl and a baby in election-related violence were complete, and a spokesman said the case would probably end up in court.


Kenyan police frequently face accusations of brutality and extrajudicial killings from civilians and rights groups, but officers are rarely charged and almost never convicted.

Human rights groups say at least 66 people have died in bloodshed associated with the August election, which was later voided by the Supreme Court, and in unrest surrounding the re-run of the presidential vote last month.

Stephanie Moraa, an 8-year-old girl in the Nairobi slum of Mathare, died after being hit by a stray bullet as police fired to disperse protesters on Aug. 12, the day after election results were announced. And the parents of six-month-old Samantha Pendo said she was teargassed and clubbed by police who invaded their home in Kisumu looking for protesters.

On Monday, the government-funded but civilian-run Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) said it had forwarded its findings and recommendations to the director of public prosecutions “for review and direction”.

Asked on Monday what IPOA had recommended to the prosecutor’s office regarding the two deaths, spokesman Dennis Oketch said: “It’s a matter which will most likely end up in court. We don’t want to give any information that can become prejudicial. We will wait for the [prosecutor‘s] review.”

IPOA’s statement did not specify if it had identified suspects in the two deaths. It did not mention any other investigations into election-related violence.