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Can journos investigate bad blood between cops and KDF?

The Daily Nation on Wednesday, April 17, reported that 10 Kenya Defence Forces officers based in Turkana County stormed Lodwar police station in a bid to rescue four of their colleagues. They had been arrested reportedly for attacking a policeman at a roadblock.

The story stated the four disarmed the lone policeman after he allegedly refused to take their orders to kneel down.

The story written by Sammy Lutta, titled “KDF men storm police station to rescue colleagues who were arrested for disarming cop”, paints the picture of a scary scuffle right under the public glare.

The police station where the incident happened is close to the law courts and the Turkana County assembly, among other public institutions. Curious members of public are captured in a photo watching the drama, which took the effort of the Turkana Central Subcounty Police Commander to control, before he consulted with the KDF senior officers on the matter.

Then on Friday, as the country observed the first day of mourning for the fallen Chief of Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla, who with nine others died in a chopper accident; Nation online in a follow-up story quoted KDF authorities denying the storming, but stating investigations had been launched.

Journalists should follow up this story, particularly to establish steps being taken to resolve the conflict, and establish the disciplinary actions, if any, against the perpetrators.

The media should establish reasons for the incident and file balanced stories to prevent a repeat involving the disciplined officers operating in volatile and security polarised northern region.

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