Baby Pendo: Two senior police officers differ on who led operation - Daily Nation

Baby Pendo: Two senior police officers differ on who led operation

Wednesday July 11 2018

Former Kisumu Central OCS John Thiringi

Former Kisumu Central OCS John Thiringi testifies at the Kisumu law courts on August 8, 2018 in an inquest on the death of Samantha Pendo. PHOTO | VICTOR OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By VICTOR OTIENO
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Two senior police officers have contradicted each other on who was in charge of security operations in Kisumu at the time baby Samantha Pendo was killed.

This emerged at a public inquest at the Kisumu High Court where the two officers, who have since been transferred to other stations, engaged in a blame game when asked who exactly supervised the operation at the Nyalenda slum.

Kajiado Senior Superintendent, Mr Christopher Mutune, who was then Kisumu Central OCPD, told the inquest that he could not tell which officers conducted the raid in the slum that night since a joint force which patrolled the entire county was under the command of Mr Titus Yoma, who was then Kisumu County Commander (now the North Eastern regional police boss).

He said an operation order named Post-Election Mipango which has names of 17 officers said to have taken part in the operation did not take effect because Mr Yoma issued fresh orders that all police officers retreat and only provide security to vital installations.

LYING TO THE COURT

But Mr Yoma denied the claim and accused Mr Mutune of lying to the court.

He told the inquest that on the night of August 11, 2017, when baby Pendo was allegedly clobbered by police officers, the OCPD was present at the slums and was the one commanding all officers who were patrolling the area, who included a platoon of the General Service Unit together with their commander and Kisumu Central Sub-County Administration Police (AP) Commander, Mr Benjamin Koima.

He said Mr Mutune and Mr Koima were better placed to tell the court the officers who were under them in the area and denied ever making any orders to the police to retreat and only guard vital installations, saying he himself spent the whole night at Kondele roundabout to guard the peace.

INQUEST

"Those are lies; I did not make such orders because I was in Kondele personally that night and his side (Mutune's) was at the Kachok-Nyalenda area.

They were working together with Mr Koima therefore they can tell this inquiry which officers were under them," he told Mr Charles Onyango, lawyer for the Kenya National Commission of Human Rights (KNCHRC). He confirmed to the court that the Post-Election Mipango operation order was applied, contradicting Mr Mutune's testimony that it never took effect.

Two documents – the Post-Election Mipango and Operation Uchaguzi 2017 – have been vital at the inquest as the court has been using them in trying to narrow down to the officers who might have assaulted the infant resulting in her death.

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