There are many fundamental things that Kenyans don’t know about themselves especially in the hands of police officers. Knowing the ignorance of the majority of Kenya, some police officers often take advantage of either exhorting money from them or denying them their deserving rights.
Article 49 of the Constitution of Kenya states that an arrested person has a right (a) to be informed promptly, in a language that the person understands of – (i) the reason of arrest, (ii) the right to remain silent and (iii) the consequences of not remaining silent.
Upon arrest, the Constitution gives you the right to remain silent. Nobody should force you to talk. You also have a right to “communicate with an advocate and other persons whose assistance is necessary.”
The constitution also gives you the right “not to be compelled to make any confessions or admissions that could be used in evidence against you.”
What many Kenyans don’t know is that it is not a must you spent time remand/police custody. Most police officers in Kenya have a habit of arresting Kenyans on a Friday so that they can spend the entire weekend behind bars. This should not be the case.
The police are bound by the law to inform you on your constitutional right to be released on a police Bail or free Bond (personal Bond) upon arrest. On the account of being released on a cash Bail by the police, an official government receipt has to be given.
Many Kenyans think that once the cash Bail is given, the money cannot be refunded. No. the police are supposed to refund your full cash Bail amount immediately if no charge is preferred against you or surrender to you in court upon your first court appearance.
According to the National Police Service Bail and Bond Charter, the police shall not remand you in custody for minor offenses, if the offense is punishable by a fine only or by imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months.
According to the Charter, upon arrest, the Police Officer in charge of a Police Station will “promptly grant you reasonable Bail terms regardless of the time of day or night, in accordance with the Constitution and Bail and Bond Policy Guidelines.” In the event that you are denied Bail or Bond, the police have to inform you of the reasons.