A police officer commended by President Uhuru Kenyatta for his bravery in countering terrorists at Westgate Mall on October 21, 2013, was sacked without the knowledge of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC).
Linus Mukolwe, an officer attached to the Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) and having worked for six years, was kicked out of the force by his superiors alongside seven others for demanding operation allowances after being deployed to Todonyang in Turkana, three days after the Westgate attack.
RDU officers are deployed in the event of war or emergencies. The officers were to help in protecting Turkana County residents from Merile insurgents.
In the case of Mukolwe and his colleague Edwin Kosgei, the commission admitted that it came to learn that the latter was fired by one P Ndirima on allegation of being mutinous after his lawyers asked why his salary had been withheld for three months.
Inspector Cyrus Githae, representing the police in the case, could not show that Mukolwe was subjected to an orderly room process.
Labour Court judge Maureen Onyango heard that on October 26, 2013, a team of 74 officers left RDU base in Nairobi for Tondonyang. But just before Lokichar, one of their lorries broke down and a mechanic was called to repair it.
As they were about to proceed with their journey, a number of officers refused to board the lorries demanding to be paid their operation allowance.
Mulokwe and his colleagues still persevered and proceeded to Todonyang for duty. On October 31, 2013, they were ordered to return to Nairobi immediately.
Three days later, they were summoned by Chief Inspector Nyasani but they asked that the allegations lodged against them should be deferred to allow them to go through them.
They were allowed to go back to their duties but in December, they realised that their salaries had been withheld.
After instructing their lawyer to inquire what was happening, on February 24, 2014, they received sacking letters backdated to November 29, 2013.
On February 6, 2014, they wrote to NPSC informing it about what had happened and at the same time asking it to revoke the summary dismissal.
The commission replied on February 15, 2014, but its letter was dated January 15, 2014, informing Mulokwe and Kosgei that it had investigated the matter and would give its final decision. It, however, never got back to them.
Justice Onyango ordered that NPSC should pay Kosgei and Mukolwe the withheld four months’ salary and also awarded each of them Sh1 million compensation.