Baby Pendo death: DPP Haji okays murder, rape, torture charges against police bosses

for Tv47 Digital October 28, 2022, 01:37 PM
Noordin Haji on Baby Pendo death
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has recommended crimes against humanity charges against police officers, including the death fof Baby Pendo during the August 2017 post-election period.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji on Friday, October 28 notified the nation that he will be proceeding with the case against police officers for the death of Baby Samantha Pendo and other atrocities committed during the 2017 post-election period in Kisumu.

DPP Haji said that for the first time in Kenya's history, the concept of superior/command responsibility will be used in a case. This is a concept where the superior is responsible for crimes committed by his subordinates and for failing to prevent or punish them.

Consequently, 12 police bosses will now be charged with serious crimes under the International Crimes Act No. 16 of 2008. The crimes include; murder, rape and torture as a crimes against humanity.

A portrait of Samantha Pendo, a six-month-old bay who died of head injuries sustained during a police raid at their family home in Nyalenda slums in Kisumu County in August 2017. PHOTO | COURTESY

IPOA probe unearths rot

The Office of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (ODPP) says that the decision has been occasioned by investigations conducted by IPOA, and assisted by the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), Civil Society organisations, as well as victims and witnesses. 

ODPP says that the investigations established that police officers may have been responsible for the killing of Baby Pendo among other serious human rights violations, including raiding homes of innocent unarmed civilians and committing various atrocities.

"It is evident from the records that several residents of Nyalenda, Nyamasaria, Kondele, abnd Obunga informal settlements were subjected to untold incidents of pain and suffering as the police officers engaged in excessive use of force and sexual violence of unprecedented magnitudes on the citizens," a statement from DPP Haji reads in part.

The statements adds that there is evidence that points to systematic use of violence, including killing, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence, against civilians, all of which constitutes serious human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

"The police officers acted under the operation order which had a well-organised command structure with sector commanders and was executed according to a consistent pattern involving similar victims and similar modus operandi. The attacks were planned, coordinated, and not random, by the high-ranking officers," the statement adds.

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