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Sacked officers sue IG Joseph Boinnet for 'illegal dismissal'

By Willis Oketch | February 2nd 2016

Two police officers sacked for allegedly blocking the President's motorcade in Mombasa have sued the Inspector General of police.

The two sued Joseph Boinnet and Coast Regional Police Commander Francis Wanjohi for "illegal dismissal from the police service". They claim Mr Boinnet and Mr Wanjohi cannot prove the claims in the dismissal letters.

Corporal Barnaba Kimeli and Joel Atuti, who were based at Makupa Police Station, have also sued the National Police Service and National Police Service Commission and are demanding their their jobs back.

During his 29-day stay in Mombasa, President Uhuru Kenyatta said he saw police officers demanding bribes from motorists. Mr Kimeli and Mr Atuti were sacked five days later - January 15. Their dismissal letters, however, did not mention anything about extortion and bribery.

They were instead accused of obstructing the President's  entourage at 9.30pm on January 15 in Mombasa. Elkana Jacob, the journalist who first wrote the story, was recently arrested and later freed after police claimed he took photographs of a protected area, claims he denied.

Kimeli and Atuti filed papers at the Industrial Court seeking leave to sue their former bosses yesterday after their plea to the National Police Service Commission to have their jobs back was rejected. Justice James Rika certified the matter as urgent and gave Boinnet and Wanjohi 14 days to file their responses in readiness for for a hearing set for February 25.

In their affidavit the two defended themselves against the bribery accusations saying they arrested a matatu driver who had blocked the road. They said they were arrested as they tried to prevent the driver from picking passengers from undesignated areas. "The entire process leading to our dismissal... was fallacy, illegal, null and void," they said.

They denied claims that they solicited for bribes as had been booked in the occurrence book at Makupa Police Station, which led to internal disciplinary action.

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