The Court of Appeal has returned a damning verdict on a killer police officer, further upholding findings of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority that led to his incarceration.
The superior Court upheld the judgement of the High Court, which sentenced Titus Ngamau Musila Katitu to 15 years in jail for the fatal shooting of Kenneth Kimani Mwangi in Githurai, Nairobi.
In passing the Judgement, the court was particularly concerned that police officers often cover-up for their colleagues whenever they face investigations by IPOA.
The Court noted in the judgment: “The blue code of silence is a common phenomenon, spanning across different countries and police cultures in America, Europe, Asia and even Africa. It is the unwritten rule according to which police officers never provide incriminating information about their colleagues.”
Blue is synonymous with police, as it denotes the colour of their uniform.
The Judgement corroborated, and further quoted an IPOA report released in 2018 that cited police for frustrating efforts to bring to account, errant police officers.
The Court said in part: “IPOA has faced a number of challenges. Success of IPOA is dependent on total cooperation from the police. Often the police fail to provide adequate cooperation for IPOA to prosecute police officers allegedly responsible for committing crimes. Police deliberately bungle some of their investigations in order to protect fellow police officers.”
In making the judgement, the Court also said: “Out of the 15 prosecution witnesses, eight (8) were police officers, who were determined to maintain the “blue code of silence” and ensure they saved one of their own. Indeed, it was only after the intervention by IPOA and other pressure groups that the appellant’s nearly two years of freedom after the incident was brought to an end.”
The judgement was delivered on April 24, 2020, by Court of Appeal Judges W. Ouko, F. Sichale and S. ole Kantai.