There is always a feeling of panic and irrepressible anxiety that engulfs any soldier when they bump into a
Military Police Officer famously known as ‘the red berets’.
Am I wearing something I shouldn’t be wearing? Does my shirt have a nametag? Did I forget to wipe off my make up before getting into my uniform?
It is a combination of respect and a touch of fear that can perhaps be explained by the fact that their red berets make them look different, and in effect, intimidating.
In case you were wondering what this dreaded outfit does, Lieutenant Nyamita, an officer attached to the Special Investigation Unit, has some insight.
“We are the Corps mandated to police the KDF by promoting and ensuring the highest standard of conduct through quality military policing and provision of tactical provost support to KDF in all operations,” he says.
Being good is easy, Victor Hugo, a celebrated French author said, what is difficult is being just.
In order to join the military police, one has to stand out from the rest.
The desire for justice and fairness must be unquestionable. Character and integrity must be beyond reproach, and the level of discipline should be exceptionally high.
Additionally, one must succeed in the various courses for both officers and service members.
As an investigator at SIU, Lieutenant Nyamita says they handle all kinds of cases, ranging from fraud and forgery, among other sensitive and complex crimes.
They strive to maintain a good rapport with the civil police because there are several times where the need to work together arises.
Lt Nyamita gives the example of a case involving a serviceman and a civilian, and in which a civilian
is a witness. In such an event, the civil police recover evidence then hand it over to their military
counterparts. The Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) also provides scientific support and forensic analysis in such a case.
The trial authority has the final verdict on whether to acquit or convict an accused, but before the case gets to trial, investigating officers follow an investigation protocol.
First, an allegation is lodged against someone or something.
Then an investigating officer gathers as much information as he can by conducting interviews and interrogations where necessary.
They then analyze the evidence to determine whether the suspect committed a crime. If there was an offence, the officer prepares an abstract of evidence. If not, they write an investigative report.
The main challenge faced is the lengthy time it takes to investigate cases which majorly require ballistics, toxicological and document examination reports.
In other situations, some senior officers can be uncooperative to the investigating officers.
‘By Example, Shall We Lead!’ is a service motto of the military police
corps. These soldiers undertake their duties with fairness and professionalism.
“The principle of the Rule of Law subjects all persons to be accountable to the law regardless of one’s rank, appointment or social status,” said Lieutenant Nyamita, emphasising that the red berets relate well with other