The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) Garissa regional office is investigating six out of 33 complaints that the public reported since it was opened in March this year.
Addressing the press after the official launch of the office on Thursday, IPOA CEO, Joel Mabonga said that the 27 complaints fell outside the mandate of the body and were referred to the relevant government entities.
The CEO said that IPOA would enhance public education that would also try to outline the mandate of the organization.
The public have not clearly understood our mandate. Majority of the cases are clearly outside our mandate but this does not stop us from referring them to the relevant authorities, Mabonga said.
We conduct impartial and independent investigations and monitoring of the national police service to prevent impunity and enhance professionalism in the interest of the public, he explained.
While urging residents of North Eastern region to make use of the office to register their complaints against the police, Mabonga noted that the public could also recommend officers for awards for their exemplary work.
He said the office also served and took complaints from junior police officers against their bosses.
IPOA also carries out independent investigations on people who have died in the hands of the police, he added.
Mabonga said IPOA intended to open five more regional offices in Nyeri, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kakamega and Meru within this financial year.
We would like to have offices in each of the 47 counties but given budgetary constraints, we shall be doing it phases, he noted.
He advised those in far flung areas to use their phones or e-mails to present their complaints assuring them that the organization would address the same if were within its mandate.
The Garissa office will serve 7 counties; Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Tana River, Kitui and Marsabit. This however does not limit anyone from seeking services from nearest offices.
The IPOA Vice Chair, Jedidah Ntoyai said out of more than 8, 000 cases reported to the body, a paltry 500 were investigated including 50 which are still before court.
On calls by the public to have the military over sighted by IPOA, Ntoyai said, The role of our military is to guard our borders against external aggression but if they are called to carry out police work, we shall definitely investigate them, Ntoyai said.
Source: Kenya News Agency