Independent Police Oversight Authority launches new branch in Mombasa

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority chairman Macharia Njeru cuts the ribbon;officially launching the new Mombasa office. PHOTO: BRIAN OSWETA.

Mombasa, KENYA: Coast residents will no longer have to travel to Nairobi to register their complaints with the Independent Policing Oversight Authority IPOA, this is after a new office has been launched in Mombasa to cater for the needs of the region.

The office which has been in operation since March 2017 located at the Jubilee Arcade in Mombasa, was officially unveiled to the public on Wednesday.

Speaking during the launch, IPOA Chairperson Macharia Njeru said the authority saw the need to decentralize their operations in different counties starting with Mombasa, so as to effectively deliver services to citizens.

“One of the major challenges we have is that so many citizens cannot afford to get to Nairobi and at times when our officers finally get to reach them, we find that the evidence has been tampered with.” Said  Macharia.

Macharia added that already they are handling 69 cases at the Mombasa office since it’s inception and that they are expecting more since Mombasa has in the past faced alot of extra-judicial killings.

He however urged police in the region to co-operate in ensuring that the rights of citizens are upheld by giving feedback whenever complaints of police misconduct are reported.

“When you don’t respond to the complaints by the people, they tend to think that you are ignoring them and thus this creates conflict between the public and the police.” Added Macharia.

Civil societies led by Haki Africa’s rapid response officer, Mr Francis Auma, welcomed  the move by IPOA to open the offices in Mombasa as this would make their work easier in the region.

The Coast region has in the recent times made headlines when it comes to extra-judicial killings, with the latest ones being that of  a 16-year old who was allegedly killed by police and the Kwekwe Mandaza case.

IPOA was established through an Act of parliament published in November 2011 to provide for civilian oversight over the work of police in Kenya.