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Decision to train police officers at Government Chemist faulted

By By Martin Mutua | Apr 18th 2014 | 2 min read

By Martin Mutua

Kenya: Tension is high at the Government Chemist after 10 police officers were seconded there to be trained on forensic matters instead of being sent to South Africa for the exercise.

Impeccable sources told The Standard that there is disquiet among staff at the chemist who without any notice or guidelines arrived at the workplaces to find the police officers from the Criminal Investigations Department.

“First, this is not a training institution and secondly, the Government has a budget of Sh100 million that was allocated in the current financial year for training of forensic staff. So, where has that money gone,” officials at the institution posed.

The purported training of the officers is said to be in readiness for the establishment of another forensic laboratory that the Government has earmarked at a cost of Sh 5.6 billion. Sources at the chemist who preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation told The Standard  it was appearing as if the money for training had been embezzled.

“The chemist has never and does not train personnel. The Government has always allocated funds for experts to get trained out of the country,” added the sources.

State’s neglect

The sources also disclosed that by “dumping” the police officers at the institution, the Government was also creating a conflict of interest since the chemist was supposed to carry out analysis in readiness for presenting it as evidence in court.

“How then do you take police officers at the Government Chemist who are supposed to be the ones arresting suspects and they participate in analysing the same evidence?” Posed the sources.

Several officials at the institution interviewed on condition of anonymity said the money establishing another laboratory should have been used to refurbish the current chemist which has been neglected by the Government since its establishment in 1912.

The sources pointed out that the current building where the chemist was operating from had been erected in 1940 and that since then, nothing had been done.

The officials further said the chemist had a huge land which could have been used for its expansion if State was serious.

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