Five police officers have been shot dead by their colleagues in separate confrontations across Kenya since January.

However, there is a silver lining because it's a drastic drop compared to a similar period last year, when 18 police officers were killed in similar circumstances, according to Nation Newsplex’s Deadly Force database. In 2015, nine police officers were killed by their colleagues.

National Police Service spokesman George Kinoti said the five deaths are regrettable because their aim is to eliminate the vice completely.

He went on to attribute the drop to findings contained in a report produced by “court of inquiry,” as it was christened, that are now being implemented.

The inquiry is the taskforce that went around the country, with instructions to initiate “up, close and candid” conversations with officers in the rank and file and identify the causes of the shootings, including suicides.

The Court of Inquiry, headed by Assistant Inspector General of Police Aggrey Adoli, presented the report to Inspector General Joseph Boinnet in October last year.

Though the report was not made public, Mr Kinoti said its recommendations are being implemented.

Independently, the Nation established that the report identified high-handedness by some commanders, depression and crimes of passion, among the causes of the vice. It also identified case studies of alcohol abuse and HIV/Aids prevalence among officers.

It further recommended interventions to ensure individual officers are well equipped to deal with them.

The report also established that marital problems, financial management handicaps and low morale were also affecting officers.

Mr Kinoti revealed that since then, a guidance and counselling department has been established under the Internal Affairs Unit.

The department is headed by Commissioner of Police Gitahi Kanyeki and deputised by Senior Superintendent Kibinge Muturi, who is an ordained minister.

Both officers are professional counsellors.

CHEWING MIRAA

An earlier report was compiled in 2011 by a team of seven psychologists, some from universities and backed by 25 police officers.

“The IG began with a transformation initiative by visiting police stations and outposts, talking to officers and encouraging them to speak out and whenever he heard statements of disaffection, he has made sure action is taken to encourage more officers to come forward,” said Mr Kinoti.

He added: “In a number of cases, it has come out very clearly that the problem is leadership. Some OCSs (police stations commanders) have been relieved or transferred. In other cases, the commanders have been reprimanded.”

Mr Kinoti referred to a 2016 incident in which a police officer killed seven colleagues including the commander at Kapenguria Police Station.

“It was common knowledge that the rogue officer, before the massacre, had lost it. He was always chewing miraa and on many occasions was in the company of questionable people. That should have been reported,” he said.

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