The dreaded police killer squad popularly known as Hessy is back and Police spokesman Charles Owino did not respond to calls and text messages about it.
Equally, the Independent Police Oversight Authority declined to confirm or deny the existence of the police unit.
After two weeks of waiting, a source at the authority told the Star, off the record that its board “ordered that no comment be made on the subject because it is really sensitive.”
Sources with the inside knowledge about the working of the crime busters, but who declined to be named, disclosed that the Hessy’s are made up of officers from various police units to purposely be ruthless in combating crime.
“The unit was created post-2010 when the country was experiencing increased sporadic terrorist attacks. If you remember this time, criminals used to hurl hand grenades and plant light explosives in strategic public spaces, injuring scores when they went off,” a source said.
Adding that “They did this to attract government attention and disturb the public.”
The crime rate was surging at the time mainly in the ghetto areas, he told the Star.
This was corroborated by another source, who said, “It is post-2010 when terrorism in the country was on a trajectory, from the home-made IEDs to the major terror incidents of 2013 and 2015 moving forward. Action needed to be taken.”
Last November, the former Inspector General of police Joseph Boinnet told the media no such group exists, insisting that “the person behind the Facebook accounts is not a police officer, but [a civilian] passionate about security matters.”
Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti told a public forum on extrajudicial exterminations and police brutality in Kayole last month that he does not know of any group called Hessy.
Another source said the unit exists.
“It, in fact, operates undercover, that even others [in the system] do not know [about it].”
How they work
“The group operates under a unit code of SPIV,” he said, without elaborating on the meaning of the code.
“Their work is to follow up on police OBs and identify those who have been booked severally on criminal allegations. They then monitor the progress of their cases in court,” he told the Star.
With the operationalisation of the 2010 Constitution, an accused person is often freed on bond or bail.
After Hessy’s warning, most wanted gangster Brayo Kigonyi is arrested. Read his last social media post
This vexes law enforcement because they get back to the community and “sustain their devious character”.
The source, who also chose to be anonymous, continued, “Members of this unit are out on a singular objective; to eliminate any notorious thug who the Judiciary cannot isolate and stop harassing members of the public.”
He explained that the unit finds it useful to engage the youth through social media because “through this, we are sure they get to see the warnings and how their accomplices or counterparts get to meet their fate.”
The Hessy pages tend to have mugshots of suspected criminals. They are warned to reform or else “you will meet this big thing.”
The ‘thing’ in reference is normally decoded to mean the bullet.
Photos of the bodies of “criminals” felled by the “big thing” are uploaded.