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Citizen Weekly

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

55 TOP COPS FACE THE AXE OVER GRAFT



55 TOP COPS FACE THE AXE OVER GRAFT

A total of 55 senior officers serving in the National Police Service are targeted in a major surgery over corruption. Two Senior Assistant Inspectors General of Police, 15 Assistant Inspectors General, 20 Police Commissioners and 18 Superintendents of Police could be victims of what is bound to be the heaviest restructuring in the tops ranks of NPS.
The 55 are among 100 officers on the firing line after being implicated in corruption alongside other State officers in the recent ‘List of Shame’ released by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
Of the 55, 10 are from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, 30 in the Regular Police, while Administration Police has 10 and GSU five.
One of the Senior Assistant Inspector Generals is accused of using his office as “a bribery collection centre” both from his officers and members of the public and also being involved in multi-million-shilling shady land transactions. The senior officer is reported to be the “godfather of land cartels” in the country.
At least 10 of the officers in the list have headed various units in the Traffic department and three of them have been at the very helm. Also said to be in the list is a senior officer at the Police Airwing, accused of allegedly hiring out police choppers to civilians. The officer is also accused of allowing civilians to use police choppers for training.
Another Assistant Inspector General is accused of amassing wealth as well as protecting alleged drug lords, while an officer, who once headed the human resource personnel department, is cited for allegedly dishing out transfers and promotions to relatives, friends and highest bidders.
The names of the police officers were not indicated alongside State officers but were handed directly to the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month. While forwarding the more than 175 names in the ‘List of Shame’ from the EACC to Parliament last month, the President disclosed he had forwarded a similar list of police officers to the IG for action.
Sources at Jogoo House, the seat of the IG, intimated to People Daily that affected officers, some of whom are being investigated for suspiciously amassing millions of shillings in their bank accounts, will be fired.
Some of the officers, the sources said, have already received letters ordering them to show cause why disciplinary action, which involves termination of service and interdiction, should not be commenced against them.
It was reliably learnt that there are several officers in the ranks of superintendent and below who will also be shown the door. The officers are accused of, among other things, amassing unexplained wealth, being involved in shady transactions, including drug trafficking, money laundering and poaching, aiding criminals, covering up multi-million-shilling scandals and using their offices to extort money.
If effected, the intended radical police surgery would be comparable to a massive one in the Judiciary during the early years of retired President Kibaki’s regime. The purge, undertaken by retired Court of Appeal judge Aaron Ringera saw 23 judges and 82 magistrates axed.
Action against the officers, expected any time this week, would obviously see Boinnet initiate a far-reaching reshuffle in the force. Last Friday, the IG said officers found to have been involved in corruption activities would lose their jobs.
Boinnet, while confirming major changes and a surgery was in the pipeline to weed out corrupt elements, said he had given firm instructions to have officers with any court case touching on corruption to instantly lose their jobs.
The IG said those affected would face police-initiated disciplinary mechanisms in addition to the legal process by EACC. “Since the beginning of the year, at least 100 officers have lost their jobs over corruption allegations,” Boinnet told People Daily on phone yesterday.
A commissioner with the National Police Service Commission, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the 55 had tight cases against them. “Already, interdiction letters have been compiled and are to be dispatched to individuals implicated,” said the official.
According to the NPSC Act, the IG initiates the process by submitting names of the officers above the rank of Superintendent to the commission with recommendations for necessary action. The commission is then expected to convene a meeting to discuss the recommendations and either approve or reject them.
In this case, reports indicate NPSC recently received and deliberated on the list, but rescheduled it to another date after today’s recruitment. In his address to Parliament last month, Uhuru directed all officials of the National and County governments adversely mentioned in the EACC report—Cabinet and Principal secretaries and chief executives of a State institution—to immediately step aside pending conclusion of the investigations of the allegations against them.
Earlier last week, findings of a survey conducted by Afro Barometer showed that majority of Kenyans feel the level of corruption had risen over the past year and that they were not satisfied with the manner in which the government was handling graft issues.
This and several other surveys in the past have shown the police are the most corrupt State officials. At least 75 per cent of the respondents in the Afro Barometer survey said most police officers are corrupt.