County inspectorate officers, commonly known as "kanjo", have no mandate to make arrests, a Mombasa court has ruled.

The officers have been cautioned that arresting wrongdoers is a reserve of the Inspector General of Police and his teams.

The ruling was made by Mombasa Senior Resident Magistrate Ritah Amwayi in a matter which involved a Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT) employee.

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Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho inspecting a guard of honour mounted by the county's inspectorate
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho inspecting a guard of honour mounted by the county's inspectorate

Charles Murimi, the accused, had been arrested in Likoni and presented in court by the kanjo askaris over advertising without a permit charges.

Magistrate Amwayi released Mr Murimi citing that the arresting officers had failed to demonstrate the legal offence committed by the accused and they had no powers to make an arrest.

"The arrest and prosecution of offenders by the County Government of Mombasa enforcement officers has no legal backing, as there exist no Act or Statute which confers them such powers," she stated.

She added that outside of a warrant, there's no legal framework which allows the officers to arrest suspects.

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