Langatta MP launch police booth in Soweto East

Launch of Soweto East police booth by Langatta MP Joash Olum
Launch of Soweto East police booth by Langatta MP Joash Olum

Langatta legislator Joash Olum has announced construction of five police posts in the constituency to curb the high levels of insecurity in the area.

Speaking at the launch of a police booth in Soweto East-Kibera, Olum said insecurity was a threat to development, hence need for police officers to be near the people to enhance security. He advised the locals enhance community policing initiative and provide valuable information to the police to weed out criminals in the area.

For the last three years, Soweto East has been mapped as the most insecure village in Kibera, with youth marauding with pistols and robing locals at will. The police have also been accused of colluding with criminals, cultivating upsurge of crime in the area. Incidents of discontent between administration and Kenya police have been equally reported.

On 12th August 2012, two Administration Police (AP) attached to Langatta District Commissioner’s office nabbed two fugitives and took them to Kilimani police station, but they were acquitted due to lack of exhibit although it was presented at the station. The two, Geoffrey Ogolla and Wellington were cornered in possession of two pistols, one of which was a toy. Oscar, the third fugitive managed to escape with the real pistol. The incident raised outrage among the APs in Kibera, and claimed their effort to combat crime was sabotaged.

On 27th of July 2012, the two were presented to court as case file number 141/612/12 and later acquitted due to lack of exhibit. Kilimani investigation officer, in charge of the case, Mr. Oreu Ngelechei presented the toy pistol in court on 30th May 2012 as exhibit, which the presiding magistrate directed it be kept at Kilimani police station. The 2nd and 3rd mention of the case was on 2nd and 13th of July 2012, respectively, where the two APs testified, but the exhibit was not presented in court.

A responsible citizen raised a question on the said acquittal to the Nairobi provincial police headquarters, which was received by a Mr. Edward Wafula Masibo. Kilimani OCPD responded to the claim and attempted to explain what prompted the acquittal. In his response, referenced C/COM/1/6/K/VOL.20/44, the acquittal was as a result of lack of exhibit in court, though the toy pistol was presented at the station. The OCPD blames the magistrate for acquitting the fugitives, even when it’s clear, his station did not help the two APs who testified in the court, by failing to avail the exhibit to the court.

Article 46(1) of the constitution states, “public goods and services are required to be of reasonable quality, affordable and accessible.” The police core values states, “the police will be proactive and responsive in the discharge of their duties, with courtesy and integrity.” The case of two acquitted fugitives raises integrity questions. Laini Saba and Soweto East villages record at least 5 robberies per week. It’s evident there is a disconnect, between the constitution, the service charter and the police daily operations.

Kibera residents have cried foul for too long due to high levels of insecurity. Rogue youth rob residents in broad daylight, at gunpoint, the police are aware of this, but no arrests have been made, yet these robbers are known. Its worth a mention, some APs have worked hard, and gunned down some of most wanted criminals, but a lot more is needed.

The police booth is hoped it will contain the high levels of insecurity. The MP through Constituency Development Fund has also allocated money to construct the AP camp next to Undugu grounds in Silanga. The project is underway