Prime Minister Raila Odinga has directed Kenya police investigating last week’s killing of two human rights activists to cooperate with officers from the United States in finding those responsible.
The Prime Minister said on Monday that he had written to Internal Security minister George Saitoti to instruct police to work with two officers from the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigations to investigate the fatal shooting of Oscar Kamau King’ara and John Paul Oulu on Thursday evening.
US envoy Michael Ranneberger had on Friday formally requested Kenya to allow FBI to investigate the killings on State House Road in Nairobi. Two officers from the embassy will work with the police.
Police say they have already arrested six people in connection with the killings while three officers’ guns were confiscated to get the one who fired the bullet that killed the student.
“It does not matter the number of people the police arrest or arraign in court, the investigation will not stand the credibility test because in the perception of the people, the police themselves are an accomplice,” he added.
Speaking after meeting human rights activists and NGO Council officials at his office, the PM said police have also been instructed not to interfere with a protest set for Tuesday by students from the University of Nairobi.
Vice chancellors have been asked not to harass or expel students who take part in these demonstrations as some of them have already been threatened with expulsion for being vocal about the killings.
The two activists were shot near the University of Nairobi and one student died after he was shot as irate students protested and prevented police from towing away the vehicle Mr King’ara and Mr Oulu were in.
Centre for Multiparty Democracy head Njeri Kabeberi repeated the demand for the removal of Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, saying that human rights abuses have been most prevalent during his five-year tenure.
Mr Odinga however avoided speaking about the matter, saying instead that police reforms agreed on in the coalition pact would deal with the matter.
Mr Odinga said there is political commitment to find out the people behind the deaths that have caused fear among human rights activists.
The PM however assured them that their lives are not at risk. He said that given the role of civil society organisations in what has come to be known as the second liberation, it is important not to interfere with their activities.
“If the government cannot provide protection to its citizens against an attack or killings, then it has no business being in control. We are not about to compromise on the gains we have made in Kenya,” he said.