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Saga on Mombasa cops deepens as letter shows they were dismissed for blocking presidential motorcade

COUNTIES
By Cyrus Ombati | January 24th 2016
Part of the dismissal letter (PHOTO: COURTESY)

The saga surrounding the dismissal of two junior officers in Mombasa deepened after they produced letters showing they were sent away for blocking a presidential motorcade.

President Kenyatta said he witnessed two officers take bribes from motorists and passengers while in Mombasa. This insinuated the officers he was referring to were a constable and a corporal who have since been sacked.

“The other day I was in Mombasa and someone had stopped the car in the middle of the road taking money from passengers (in a PSV). Can you imagine? All of us who were behind watching, what were we supposed to think?). As commanders, you must set the right example and not allow these kinds of things to happen!” said the President.

But one of the officers produced a letter showing he was accused of blocking the presidential motorcade on January 10. Corporal Barnaba Rutto and Constable Joel Atuti have since been dismissed from the service. They were sacked on January 15 and they have indicated they would seek a legal redress over the move. If they move to court, they would demand that the president appears in person to give evidence of what he saw.

They have appealed their dismissal from the police service.

A part of the letter (PHOTO: COURTESY)

They intend to cite the president’s remarks as grounds for their sacking and the letter they each received.

Rutto has worked for Kenya police for 15 years. He was accused of negligence in the performance of duty as per the National Police Service Act.

“On 10th January 2016 at 2130 hours at Sabasaba Cross Road in Mvita Sub County within Mombasa County, being the duty officer and the NCO in charge of motor vehicle GKB234H Ranger negligently allowed constable Joel Atuti Nyakango to leave the said vehicle unattended at the middle of the road, which caused undue obstruction to the presidential motorcade of HE Hon Uhuru Kenyatta CGH,” said part of the letter.

Coast regional police commander Francis Wanjohi wrote the dismissal letter and copied to the National Police Service Commission, Inspector General of Police and his deputy.

The letter indicated Rutto had pleaded not guilty.

The two were arrested by the presidential guards who saw the police vehicle blocking a matatu and obstructing traffic on the Makupa Causeway.

They were held for up to five days before being dismissed after going through proceedings.

The officers said they saw the matatu obstructing traffic and stopped to question the driver who claimed the vehicle had stalled.

As they were figuring out how to get it off the road, the motorcade arrived. They said they were not aware that the President’s motorcade, which was coming from the direction of the Moi International Airport, was scheduled to use that road.

Kenyatta spoke in Nairobi days after the news of the incident had come out.

He said: “It cannot be that the police are going to be deemed, year after year, as the most corrupt, most vile, the most everything (bad) when it comes to public perception and yet we know it is very few people (who are responsible for this).”

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