Ugandan soldiers did not
infiltrate the Force, says officer
Story by KEN OPALA
03. March 2008
Was the Kenya Police assisted by outsiders? This is the question
worrying human rights activists following reports that hundreds of
people speaking in an unusual Kiswahili and sporting jungle
camouflage and gumboots (rather than the normal police boots) were
reportedly seen in Bungoma, Eldoret, Busia, Mumias and Kisumu
operating alongside the Kenya Police.
The police say neither Ugandan soldiers nor Mungiki infiltrated
the Force. “All this information is blatant lies,” says police
spokesman Eric Kiraithe.
Treated with contempt
“No Ugandan soldier aided Kenya police in any way. Suggestions
that police were infiltrated by Mungiki should be treated with
contempt,” added Mr Kiraithe.
Peacenet, a network of over 100 civil societies, is undertaking a
study that could shed light on whether or not “outsiders” aided
the Kenya Police, among other issues, according to the
organisation’s official, Mr Barasa Mang’eni.
A report by the International Crisis Group says that “the
targeting of Ugandan lorries in Kenya due to rumours of that
country’s military involvement in the west (of Kenya) has also
A number of human rights bodies in Western Province — including
Western Kenya Human Rights Watch and Mwatikho Human Rights Centre
— and the Catholic Church are convinced that “outsiders” operated
alongside the police.
Mr Nixon Oira, the assistant coordinator of Eldoret Diocese’s
Justice and Peace Commission, says he is “70 per cent convinced
that some Ugandans were involved in helping police fight off
violence in Eldoret Town”.
Accounts of foreigners
In neighbouring Kitale, another Catholic official, Mr Leonard
Barasa, says internally displaced people gave accounts of
foreigners “in police uniform” who had assaulted them during the
While Police in Bungoma have discounted the claims, two youths
have been arrested in Sio, a village in the outskirts of Bungoma
Town, in possession of Uganda military jungle wear, according to
Mr Job Bwonya, the director of Western Kenya Human Rights Watch.
But Western provincial police boss Peter Kavila has denied
allegations of the presence of Ugandan soldiers in Kenya.