Soldiers were almost dispatched to Strathmore University in Nairobi on Monday as the botched drill caught security agencies unawares, it has now emerged.
An ongoing investigation by the police’s Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) has revealed that Lang’ata OCPD Elijah Mwangi sanctioned the security drill without informing his seniors.
The operation left one person dead and at least 20 others injured.
“Investigations are underway to establish the circumstances in which the exercise went wrong resulting into death and injuries sustained,” said the police spokesman Charles Owino.
The investigating team is headed by the IAU's director Mr Leo Nyongesa.
The Lang’ata OCPD is one of the officers to be grilled over the matter.
The Nation has established that Mr Mwangi was informed by Strathmore University authorities of the planned drill but he neither informed the Nairobi County commander or the Inspector-General’s office.
SECOND TIME TO BE GRILLED
This would be the second time that the OCPD is being grilled for botched operations.
Early January 2015 the OCPD was interdicted after pupils were teargased at the Lang’ata Road Primary School in Nairobi during a demonstration over alleged grabbing of their school’s playground.
Investigations established that police officers under his command used excess force against school children.
The then Acting Inspector-General of Police Samuel Arachi announced that Mr Mwangi had been interdicted and ordered for investigations into the matter.
However, the Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ) accused Mr Arachi of suspending the OCPD through the media.
“The suspension of the OCPD over the media by the then acting Inspector General, Mr Samuel Arachi, was improper. This should only have been made after investigation, and done in writing to the officer and not over the media,” they said in their report released in August.
In their report, the CAJ recommended that disciplinary action be taken against the then Nairobi County police commander Benson Kibue and Mr Mwangi over the manner in which they handled the January demonstration.
The Police Operation Order, issued on January 18 and signed by Mr Kibui, showed that 108 officers, drawn from all divisions in the county, under the command of the Lang’ata OCPD, were deployed to the school.
The Ombudsman recommended that Mr Mwangi and another officer, Chief Inspector Gabriel Wanjala, be suspended by the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) for a period of 6 months and their salary raises suspended for the same period.