Ahmed Rashid, a controversial police officer who has been accused of carrying out extrajudicial killings in Nairobi’s slums, is finally scheduled to appear in court to face murder charges.
Anne Makori, the head of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), said that the officer stationed at the Pangani Police station will be charged with the murders of Jamal Mohamed and Mohamed Dhair Kheri.
On March 31, 2017, the two were shot and killed on suspicion of committing a crime in the Eastleigh neighbourhood even though they were unarmed. Even though it was publicly known that they had been killed by Pangani Police Station officers, inquiries into their deaths had stagnated during the past five years.
“The Independent Policing Oversight Authority concluded the investigation into the deaths of Mr Jamal Mohamed and Mr Mohamed Dahir Kheri following a shooting which occurred at Eastleigh, Nairobi County and established that the fatalities were occasioned by police action,” said Ms Makori.
“Guided by Section 29 (a) of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority Act, the findings were forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions with the recommendation to charge Corporal Ahmed Rashid, with murder,” said the IPOA chair.
Rashid, the head of the “Pangani Six,” an informal squad of police officers who patrolled the broader Eastleigh area and the Mathare slums, enforced martial law during the height of his power, which was both celebrated and disapproved.
His big break came in 2017 when he was caught on camera killing a young man who had surrendered and was lying down outside an Eastleigh mall pleading for his life.
He publicly admitted to killing suspects when questioned later by BBC reporters who had travelled to Nairobi to cover him, adding, “those we profile, we have to get them alive or dead.”
Those who liked him claimed that he had introduced sanity to a neighbourhood that had long been ruled by gangs. However, he and the Pangani Six were charged with extrajudicial killings by human rights organisations.
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