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Iteere cleared as top police officers indicted over impostor

By - | February 1st 2013

By Cyrus Ombati

NAIROBI; KENYA: A committee investigating police impostor Joshua Waiganjo has recommended the sacking of two suspended top police commanders for their roles in the scandal.

It also cleared former commissioner of police Mathew Iteere saying investigations had proved he did not know Waiganjo, even though the impostor was reported to have claimed he gave him a Land Cruiser as a gift.

“It is useful to reveal that this report actually finds the information given by former commissioner credible and this exonerates him of The probe team said Anti-Stock Theft Unit commandant Rimi Ngugi and Rift Valley provincial police chief John M’Mbijiwe should be dismissed for abetting what must be the most disgraceful act to befall the police.

The team recommended that suspended Njoro divisional police commander Peter Njeru Nthiga be reinstated and be retrained on command and leadership issues.

 “The team recommends that the Police Service Commission lifts the interdiction of former OCPD Njoro and transfers him out of Rift Valley,” said a part of the report given to the National Police Service Commission on Thursday.

It was found that Waiganjo was neither a police officer nor a reservist and that he was close to M’Mbijiwe and Ngugi.

The team found out Waiganjo was privy to confidential security information and concluded there was no police officer promoted, dismissed or against whom disciplinary action was taken at the instigation of Waiganjo.

The report said Waiganjo made several money transfers from his mobile phone to M’Mbijiwe and Ngugi. He, however, declined to appear before the committee.

Mr M’Mbijiwe and Ngugi may face criminal charges should the Director of Public Prosecutions and Attorney General decide to charge them.

Wide consultation

NPSC Chairman Johnston Kavuludi who received the report said they will consult widely and seek advice from the two offices.

Commissioner Mary Owuor chaired the team. Lawyer Kioko Kilukumi, who represented the Law Society of Kenya, was the vice-chairman.

Kavuludi announced they would implement the recommendations, and ensure that they do not interfere with matters before court.

The 28-page report says Waiganjo made extensive use of police facilities and equipment at the facilitation of M’Mbijiwe and Ngugi and that he first masqueraded as a reservist in 2003 in Kitale.

“M’Mbijiwe knew or ought to have known that Waiganjo was neither a police officer nor member of the Kenya Police Reserve. Indeed he tried to legitimise Waiganjo’s impersonation by giving David Wambua, the OCPD West Pokot, instructions to open a personal file and issue the impostor with an appointment letter as a police reservist,” said Kavuludi.

Mr Wambua had during the hearings informed the committee that he wrote the letter under duress.

The team investigated the telephone numbers of both Iteere and Waiganjo to establish if they had any form of communication and found out they had never spoken. “More interestingly, was the findings that the numbers saved as ‘Compol’ in Waiganjo’s phone was actually found in possession of Waiganjo himself,” says part of the report.

The committee received evidence Waiganjo was in possession of a firearm on three different occasions – at the District Officer’s office Kabazi-Subukia, Nakuru Magistrate’s Court, and Farmers’ Inn, Njoro.

“There was no evidence to ascertain that the firearm was a police issue,” added the report.

The report shows on September 14, last year, Waiganjo represented M’Mbijiwe at the Kenya Forestry College in Londiani at a passing out parade and sat in the dais among other dignitaries. He was driven there in a police Land Rover.

Six other police cars that he used were listed as well as the helicopter. He also had a police pocket phone. He used the PPO’s office, officers’ mess and office, clinic in Anti-Stock Theft Unit, Central Police Station in Nakuru, Lanet Military Airstrip, and Kitale OCPD’s office.

The team established Waiganjo had constant communication with the officer in charge of Kilimani and Airport divisional police force in Nairobi.

The report discloses how Waiganjo attempted to lure two police officers into criminal activities along Nairobi-Nakuru Highway by offering one of them Sh1 million if he stopped a certain truck from Uganda, while in police uniform at midnight. But the officer declined and reported the issue to his superiors.

Waiganjo’s strategy was to impress the officers he targeted by getting their names, phone, numbers, and ranks.

Ngugi told the team he visited Waiganjo’s house and found his photographs in jungle uniform and wearing badges of the rank of an inspector of police.

Work tickets

Ngugi inquired from him as to why he was in a blue beret since he had informed him he was a General Service Unit officer, who wears maroon berets, but he did not investigate further.

M’Mbijiwe’s secretary told the team that Waiganjo frequently visited the office and introduced himself as an Assistant Commissioner of Police within the Anti-Stock Theft Unit.

The team received evidence showing Waiganjo signed work tickets, which are official police records.

On one occasion an officer in charge of transport refused to sign a work ticket, forcing Waiganjo to decline to append his signature, but he later appended a forged one.

“The signature was later confirmed to be a forgery of the Divisional Transport officer. He once used Force Number 56784, which was later found to belong to a constable of police.”

The team further wants the Internal Affairs Unit that is supposed to investigate complaints against police officers be operationalised and that command and structure be re-examined to ensure that power and authority is not centralised.

The team handed over its report to the commission and asked that all gazetted officers be vetted forthwith in accordance with Section 7 of the National Police Service Act.

It also asked for an immediate audit of all Kenya Police Reservists and a database be created and that police introduce the use of firearms movement registers in areas where they do not exist to facilitate proper management of firearms.

The team held sittings in Nakuru Municipal Hall and in Nairobi where it heard evidence from 30 witnesses. Waiganjo is facing several criminal charges, including robbery with violence and impersonating a police officer. He was arrested on December 31.

The team’s terms of reference included establishing if Waiganjo was a police officer or Kenya Police Reservist for what duration and who recruited him, circumstances of his operation as an officer, who gave him orders, instructions, and his associates. It was also supposed to establish what equipment was issued to Waiganjo and how they were used.

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