The increased cases of enforced disappearances which, in more cases than not, are preceded by extrajudicial killings in Kenyan slums has continued to cause fear and depression among the communities.
The issue of extra-judicial killings is a fire subject indeed.
We have all heard of Hessy, the fierce ‘killer’ cop who is credited for thinning the herd that is criminal gangs in Eastlands.
He is also credited for the phrase, ‘Utajua haujui’, a hrase directed at gangs when they are being warned that they will be killed if they don”t reform.
Human rights groups, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority among other stakeholders say cases of human rights violations by security agencies remain prevalent.
They say many victims of such vices and more so extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances are yet to get justice due to among other things lack of goodwill, victimization of both witnesses and victims and shoddy investigations
“I have lost two husbands in one year,” a tearful young woman, balancing a toddler on her side, told the crowded town hall meeting in Nairobi’s Kayole residential estate last month.
Others came forward to the microphone to tell similar stories about losing young relatives aged between 15 and 24.
The state prosecutor, top police officers and human rights activists, who were also at the rare gathering, listened as community leaders explain how these youngsters, suspected to be criminals, were profiled within various Facebook groups by “gangster hunters”.
For the first time cameras enter the world of one of Kenya’s most controversial police officers, who became national news after mobile footage showed him gunning down two apparently unarmed men in broad daylight in 2017.
Mr Omanga says the macabre images shared in the group are intended to shock and show bravado. Sometimes an old picture of the victim is juxtaposed beside their dead body.
The group members seem to revel in the content – judging from the likes and the positive emoticons that are left below each post.
Some also share their personal experiences as victims of crime and call on the police to eliminate other criminals.
To sign up for this front-row digital seat, new users have to answer three questions, including whether they support police’s efforts to fight crime.
Criminals also pay attention to these Facebook pages just in case they are listed for elimination.
After being profiled, several young men have gone into hiding or have sought protection from human rights organisations.
Should hessy kill criminals or investigate?