Isiolo County commissioner George Natembeya reaffirms shoot to kill directive

By: VIVIAN JEBET

Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya has reiterated his directive to police to shoot and kill persons found carrying illegal firearms.

His statement follows calls by the Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) for the commissioner to be probed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) over his utterances.

The lobby also wants Mr Natembeya to denounce the order he made on November 12 against anyone carrying illegal firearms.

In a letter to the commissioner, IMLU urged him to assure the residents of Isiolo of his commitment to safeguard the Constitution and the rule of law.

But the commissioner has vowed to enforce the order cautioning that anyone carrying illegal firearms will have to face the consequences.

He said IMLU should instead lobby the government to stop purchasing firearms for its soldiers because its purpose is aimed at protecting Kenyans.

“Who is supposed to address the bandits? IMLU doesn’t know the insecurity situation in this area. Have they asked bandits to stop killing and cattle rustling?” questioned the commissioner.

He said the order is purely aimed at stopping cattle rustling and killings.

DEFIED GOVT AMNESTY

At least 50 people have died and others injured in six months following conflict fuelled by the proliferation of illegal firearms.

Mr Natembeya said owners of illegal firearms were given amnesty by the government to register their weapons but defied it.

The amnesty expired two weeks ago.

“We are simply telling bandits that the government knows how to use the firearms.

“IMLU should look at the context in which I gave the order,” added Mr Natembeya.

He noted that the law that IMLU quotes only protects criminals and not the victims.

Mr Natembeya also questioned why the lobby was not addressing issues concerning the victims but only focused on bandits.

He argued that since he ordered officers to shoot and kill anyone carrying illegal firearms, no killing or rustling incidents have been reported.

DISMAYED BY ORDER

“We wish to unequivocally express our dismay at this order that is not only a license for extrajudicial executions but also militates against the rules of natural justice, where one is assumed innocent until proven guilty through a competent judicial process,” the letter by IMLU reads.

The lobby argues that the law is categorical that force and firearms will only be used where less extreme means are inadequate ostensibly to protect life and for self-defence.

As such, blanket shoot-to-kill orders from anyone must be treated with the contempt they deserve,” the statement adds.

IMLU urged police officers to ignore Mr Natembeya’s orders and continue serving Kenyans within the ambit of the law.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION