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Blamuel Njururi – Nairobi, May 29, 2014 – The dismissal of 12 top police officers this week has exposed the underbelly of a rotten Kenya’s Police Service invested by corrupt and organized criminal cartels run by criminals in police uniform.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government now faces the challenge of punishing those who have been involved in subversion of justice over the years and extend similar vetting exercise to all other government ministries. The Judiciary has been undergoing vetting since 2011.
The officers sacked occupied strategic offices from which they operated as gate keepers to grand corruption, organized criminal cartels and many forms of criminal activities locally and internationally. As kingpins in corrupt and criminal cartels the officers were deeply involved in subverting the course justice and criminal cover-ups.
The vetting outcomes strongly vindicates Kenyans who wanted a civilian to occupy the office of Inspector General to clean up the rot while police officers were determined to maintain the status quo. The shocking revelation also casts a dark shadow of the National Assembly unrelenting efforts to reduce the National Police Service Commission into a toothless bull dog. No wonder the integrity of Kenyan Members of Parliament is questionable with claims of corruption flying all over.
It is not surprising therefore, that many former police commissioners, directors of Criminal Investigations and National Intelligence Service, serving as godfathers to the police criminal empires, became filthy rich than many better educated and dedicated professionals in Kenya. Indeed, a former commissioner of police is reputed to have been bank robberies mastermind.
It is also not surprising that when millions of shillings are stolen in robberies, police only recover small amounts. The top cops must also have been responsible for the frequent “disappearance” of Kenyans and display of fake guns “recovered” from innocent people gunned down by police to cover-up their colleagues when involved in gangland executions.
Not surprising the reasons for the top cops’ dismissal include;
Those sacked did not include roadside traffic police officers or constables on the beat or drunken cops at the report desk.
President Uhuru must demonstrate to Kenyans and the world at large that he is determined to fight corruption, criminal cartels and terrorism and that crime does not pay, by ensuring that the senior officers who committed the heinous crimes for which they have lost their jobs are punished. Rewarding corruption has been the practice in Kenya encouraging the culprits to sue government and invest in it. The culprits just like terrorists, must be removed from the public to deter them from master-minding further criminal activities.
It is no wonder that the criminal life by senior police officers has steadfastly maintained the police at Number 1 position as the most corrupt institution over the years. This is because the criminals in police uniform have collaborated with organized criminal cartels and the judicial system to subvert justice. It is not surprising that it has been impossible to successfully investigate and prosecute corruption and organized crimes in Kenya.
The arrival of internet and mobile telephones has made the work of criminals in police uniform a child’s play in racking in illegal wealth, blood money and cursed fortune at the expense of innocent Kenyans, national development and administration of justice. Many have committed crimes against humanity in human trafficking, drug trafficking and gun-running.
They have been beneficiaries of organized criminal cartels and illegal criminal gangs that have been impossible to eradicate in Kenya. The professionally run police criminal cartels have made it impossible for Kenyans to report and get action taken against errant officers all the way from low ranked constables and Officers Commanding Police stations around the country.
The police criminal syndicates have operated hand and gloves with corrupt politicians, civil servants and businesses in the country to allow land grabbing, tax evasion and block investigations into crimes and criminals in the country. The criminals in police uniforms have betrayed the trust of managing security and fighting crime in the country.
Modern technology should be applied to expose the police criminal cartels collaborators and drivers who have been in constant communication with the criminals in uniform. It should be easy to track down the kingpins of organized criminal cartels the top cops have been involved in and have been protecting. Their ill-gotten wealth and properties should be impounded.
What Kenyans may not know is that some of the corrupt senior police officers climbed the ladder of their promotions by bribing their seniors. Others were promoted because of their service to the criminal cartels like escorting drugs and other contraband merchandise as junior officers. A former provincial police officer started on his journey of promotions as trusted escort of Bhang and ivory from Mt Kenya forest in Embu and Meru.
Parliament anxious to make Police Service Commission a toothless bull dog and promote corruption
Besides dismissal from the police service, those whose criminal activities can be proved in courts of law must be prosecuted to deter their successors and others on supply chain. That is because The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) chairman Johnston Kavuludi says that those found unsuitable will have a chance to appeal their cases or move to court to challenge the decision. They have enough money to do just that.
Among those sacked is the head of investigations at the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters Samuel Nyabengi, The head of investigations at CID headquarters is a vital link in all criminal cases in the country and can determine the success or failure of criminal proceedings in courts of law. Such a head is the custodian of documents and evidence that can fight or booster criminal cartels in the country. To be found unfit is to say the least a betrayal to the entire nation of Kenya.
Also fired is Kajiado County police commander Tito Kilonzi, Kajiado has over the years provided a free man’s smuggling territory through which stolen vehicles and commercial merchandise flow to and from neighboring Tanzania. Of late it has provided a safe haven for resurrection of Mungiki and mass graves as well as land grabbing barons – all activities that are fueled through corruption.
Deputy Director of police logistics Stephen Kemei was also shown the door. Police logistics office is responsible for important logistical operations and records, life and death operational data and information upon which police operations depend. In wrong hands such information would be a gold mine which criminal cartels would be appropriate prospectors paying dearly for it.
The head of police operations at Dadaab refugee camp Roba Kalicha, occupied an office that could not escape the attention of desperate foreigners in a refugee camp. Some would be desperate to move to urban areas, including the capital city of Nairobi. Others would be Al Shabaab terrorists with enough money to buy their way out of refugee camp.
Others that lost their jobs were David Birechi and Wilfred Mbithi, based in Nairobi and police headquarters the nerve center of police operations countrywide. Needless to say the head office is both a sensitive domain and a conduit of corruption and all evils associated with police. Some of the sacked officers could have been involved in tipping off criminal suspects and terrorists on operations targeting them.
Others are Alexander Munyao (Kenya Police College, where police indoctrinated into believing that Kenya citizens are police enemies – Raia ni adui ya polisi) and Sharif Abdalla (Nyeri). Others who were sent packing are Joseph Musyoki of Administration Police headquarters, Peter Muinde of CID Training School, Emanuel Kenga Karisa (Vihiga County Police) and Paul Onyango (Kakamega AP).
Others placed between what can be described as Heaven and Hell, are those whose cases will be probed further. Nine senior officers to be probed further include former police spokesman Eric Kiraithe, Washington Ajuonga (Marsabit AP), Pius Barasa of inspection section, Vitalis Okumu (Interpol), David Bunei (GSU Training School), Pius Macharia (Machakos County CID), David Cheruiyot (Kisumu Police), Patrick Ndunda (CID Headquarters and Francis Kirathe (Nakuru AP).
Kavuludi said the commission will continue to receive complaints that may arise from the public and police officers even against the successful ones. He also announced that a senior officer who had been dismissed in a past vetting exercise was reinstated after his case was reviewed by an appeals panel.
The vetting panel reinstated Deputy Commissioner of Police at police headquarters Philip Tuimur the officers all left as soon as they received the letters, with some dashing to toilets, cars and an open field to open them there. Some smiled and hugged on opening the envelopes containing the letters of appointment while those negatively affected dashed to their cars and drove off – probably cursing the vetting board and not themselves.
The successful officers will now be given new ranks of either assistant inspector of police or commissioner of police, which have been approved by the commission in a new ranking system. Some 166 officers were vetted in the exercise, bringing to 196 the number of those so far probed since the exercise began.
Kavuludi said the next group to undergo the exercise will be more than 1,168 OCPDs and their deputies who will be vetted at their stations. The commission hopes to finish with this group by the end of August before it moves to the next one, which will be that of chief inspectors and inspectors.
The stigma on police corruption is so strong that few Kenyans are satisfied police vetting will improve efficiency within the service. A survey by the Usalama Reform Forum showed over 27 per cent of community members were fairlysatisfied that police vetting will improve competencies within the service compared to 39 per cent of police officers interviewed.
But the police commission however, faulted the study saying it was not a true representation of facts. Vetting is mandatory for all officers before they are promoted to the next rank, confirmed or posted. The vetting was meant to clean up the police, which have been listed as the most corrupt institution in Kenya by many surveys
Vetting of police officers was among the more than 200 proposals of a commission set up following the 2007-2008 post-election violence. The overall goal of the National Task Force on Police Reforms headed by retired judge Philip Ransley was to transform the brutal police force into an efficient, effective, professional and accountable security agency that Kenyans could trust with their safety and security.
The need for police reforms was reinforced by recommendations made by the Waki Commission of Inquiry into the 2007 Post-election Violence. This was after police were largely blamed for the violence the broke out after the disputed polls that claimed more than 1,500 lives.
The vetting outcome now raises one major question: Who can Kenyans trust with their security and safety?