Judiciary Gets Own Police Unit to 'Protect' Judges

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    Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai (left) and Chief Justice Martha Koome (right)
  • The Inspector General of Police, Hillary Mutyambai, has formed a new police unit that will protect judicial officers and the Judiciary premises. 

    A memo circulated to the National Police Service (NPS) details the roles and functions of the Judicial Police Unit (JPU). 

    The unit will comprise officers drawn from the regular police and the Administration Police Service (APS). 

    “The memo was issued to direct on the formation of the unit which will be similar to others such as the Parliament Police." 

    The Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi as pictured on November 18, 2019
    The Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi as pictured on November 18, 2019
    Simon Kiragu

    “I understand that the head of the unit will be based at the Judiciary where he will coordinate his juniors to protect courts and other judicial buildings,” an official privy to the details told Kenyans.co.ke.

    He, however, refuted reports that the officers under the new unit would be assigned to track judicial officials, owing to strained relationship between the Executive and the Judiciary. 

    Reports had indicated that the unit was formed to monitor movements and activities of Judiciary employees in the backdrop of the grilling of High Court Judges, Aggrey Muchelule, and Said Chitembwe late last month.

    The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) claimed it seized Ksh6 million from the chambers of the duo following a multi-agency raid. 

    Chief Justice Martha Koome castigated the arrest of the duo stating:  “The arrest of the two judges has caused anxiety among Judges and Judicial Officers. I assure all Judges and Judicial officers that the independence of the Judiciary and their constitutional duties are protected by the Constitution.” 

    Koome, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and Inspector General, Hillary Mutyambai, met last week to discuss procedures of handling judges suspected of breaking the law to avoid embarrassing them in public. 

    Koome called for the creation of a committee to formulate the guidelines. 

    "There is a need to formulate rules and protocols where any allegation should be followed by due process. Judges should be handled in a particular manner in the event of any criminal allegations against them," Koome stated, according to sources privy to the meeting's details.

    Interior CS Fred Matiang'i (left) and Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai (right) at Rioma Police Station in Kisii on July 7, 2021
    criminal arrest suspect