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Pass-out for over 3,000 police recruits hangs in the balance

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By By KURIAN MUSA and CYRUS OMBATI | Mar 19th 2014 | 3 min read
General Service Unit recruits preparing for a pass-out parade.  [PHOTO: FILE]

By KURIAN MUSA and CYRUS OMBATI 

Nairobi, Kenya: There is confusion on whether the planned pass-out parade for more than 3,000 police recruits slated for next month will take place.

This was after the Industrial Court in Nairobi nullified the exercise for 1,900 recruits who were set to pass out, citing irregularities during recruitment exercise.

Police authorities have planned the pass-out of recruits at the Kiganjo Police College for April 4, that of Administration Police on April 17 and of General Service Unit on April 24.

Police boss David Kimaiyo said all recruits were ready for the pass-out parades.

“We are set. In fact the recruits finished their training long time ago and they are set to graduate next month,” said Mr Kimaiyo.

Already parents and friends of the graduands have been invited to attend the pass-out parades.

But in his ruling, Justice Njagi Marete said the case filed by a petitioner, through an agency, unearthed irregularities in the exercise of recruiting the officers who have been at Kiganjo Training College for over 15 months.

A civil society group, Kenya Council of Employment and Migration Agency (KCEMA), moved to court to stop police from conducting the passing out event.

The judge allowed prayers sought in the application and will be issuing the written ruling on Monday when parties and respondents will be duly served.

However, the Chairman of the National Police Service Commission Johnston Kavuludi said he had not seen the ruling or order but said he was aware there was a case challenging the pass-out of recruits.

“They have already been trained and they are ready for graduation and deployment. According to us, all the standards were met and even the observers who were present gave us a clean bill of health,” said Mr Kavuludi.

Kimaiyo, who is also a commissioner with the National Police Service Commission, said he had not received the order.

“I have not been served with it but is it possible to stop it? That would be dangerous,” said Kimaiyo.

Kimaiyo and his deputies, Grace Kaindi and Samuel Arachi, are members of the commission which conducted the recruitment last year.

“I don’t think such a ruling can be issued in a blanket manner. We have serious programmes waiting to be implemented by the officers,” he said.

Kavuludi and his team were accused of neglecting their leadership roles in the whole process.

KCEMA, in its case, said the recruits had been illegally placed in the force for training and thus are not supposed to serve Kenyans as officers.

Sent away

The petitioner narrated how NPSC replaced 1,900 recruits who had on January 25, 2013, been sent away from Kiganjo and Embakasi police colleges for having fake documents and others being pregnant.

The recruits are said to have received just six months training and had fallen short of 36 recruits, with one sergeant.

The court heard that when recruits or sergeants are missing from training, then that is not a platoon and thus it is illegal per the service’s code of conduct.

It was reported that since they corrupted their way into the forces, they could carry on with corrupt practices while serving mwananchi.

State Counsel Peter Ngumi submitted that the case could not be heard by an Industrial Court as it was more of a Constitutional matter than a labour dispute.

But Judge Marete said the court had jurisdiction to determine the matter before it as it was a recruitment exercise to give service to Kenyans. The recruiting officers are alleged to have taken bribes to place the recruits and others procured sexual favours from women recruits to grant them a chance in the police colleges.

According to court proceedings, the commandants at the colleges are expected to produce all recruit documents to determine all the recruits who were admitted illegally.

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