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Rift Valley leaders fault police over jobs, say hiring failed credibility test

By Standard On Sunday Reporter | July 27th 2014 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Police officers takes through some of the attendants who participated in the police recruitment at Kabarnet, Baringo County, there was high turnout in the county compared to other years [PHOTOS: BONIFACE THUKU [

ELDORET KENYA: Leaders in the South and Central Rift have called for nullification of the recent police recruitment, saying it was not transparent.

From allegations of open bribery to doctored medical reports, various groups have poked holes into the process, claiming it was designed to benefit the rich.

Mr Dickson Ng’eno from Pokot claims he was cheated from joining the Administration Police (AP) service after doctors at the recruitment centre declared he suffers from Asthma.

Ng’eno said he is ready to undergo an independent medical examination to determine whether he suffers from the disease.

“I do not suffer from asthma. They just looked for an excuse to eliminate me. I am ready to undertake the test,” said the distraught Ng’eno. Mr Mathew Tarus from East Pokot said he was locked out by a local chief, who told him he does not belong to the district.

He said some local leaders patronised the exercise and were deciding who should participate.

“I come from East Pokot and my ID shows that, but I was denied entry into the field by a chief. Many of us were thrown out as recruiters watched helplessly. We need justice,” said Tarus.

Ronald Mutai from Kipkelion claims he led the race in the athletic phase of the recruitment but somewhere in the middle, three men joined it and took the lead, leaving him to take third position. He was eventually eliminated.

“I believe I could have won the race, but some people were assisted to cheat by being allowed to join the race in the middle of it. The three who joined midway were eventually picked to join the police force,” said Mutai.

In Trans-Mara, residents said the recruitment at Emurwa Dikirr was marred by corruption and nepotism. They say observers and the recruiting panel rewarded themselves by hiring their relatives.

Led by Shadrack Tonui from Ndamama sub location and John Tonui from Abosi sub location, the residents claimed one recruiting officer dared them to complain, saying he was related to a top officer in the force. “One senior officer told us to our face that our complaints were not going anywhere because he was a relative to one of top police commanders. The chairman of the observers and one representing the churches had their children recruited,” said Tonui.

Regional balance

Tonui said the exercise did not adhere to the regional balance requirement, as applicants from some sub-locations were never considered despite meeting the requirements.

James Langat claimed a candidate with a mean grade of D was recruited yet the minimum qualification requirement is D+.

“A lady who was not in the field was recruited, but after our complaints generated a lot of heat, the recruiting panel met on July 16 and tried to replace her,” said Langat.

In Baringo, human rights groups asked the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate malpractices during the recruitment.

They singled out Eldama Ravine, Marigat and Baringo North stations as the most affected by bribery.

Baringo Human Rights Consortium chairperson Kipruto Kimosop poked holes into the manner in which the exercise was conducted in Marigat, saying six locations were completely locked out.

Although 27 slots were given out, Kimosop said the recruiting committee did not make public the slots assigned to General Service Unit at Marigat, leading to confusion. “I suspect somebody must have pocketed the GSU slots. We need the whole thing investigated,” said Kimosop.

He wondered why candidates were not advised to apply for the GSU slots at the station like it was done in other parts of the country.

Reports from Rongai sub-county in Nakuru indicate that during the recruitment, specific community code numbers were used to pick potential candidates. Sources privy to the exercise said only a police commander and a top county official were the only senior Government officials allowed to access the secret numbers. “Codes for some communities were not supplied, thus eliminating them unfairly,” said the police officer.

Locked out

In Narok South, the Ogiek community said the exercise violated section 100 of the Constitution that recommends the promotion of the marginalised and minority communities.

They say they were locked out. Led by their spokesperson Sophie Tanki and the Ogiek Council of Elders vice-chair Wilson Mumuse, they said those recruited should refelect the face of Kenya. They vowed to demand their share.

“We read this as an attempt to continue marginalising us. The community does not have even a single assistant chief yet we have children who have gone to school. The Constitution recognises us and we must be given our rightful share,” said Tanki.

Council of Governors chairman Isaac Ruto said the recruitment was flawed and called for it to be repeated.

He said qualified job seekers in Bomet were not recruited, as their parents and guardians could not afford Sh300,000 demanded by the recruiting panel.

Ruto said the police sold off the chances to those who had money.

“It is a big shame for the recruiting panel to have dismissed a female candidate who came first during the road race and successfully passed through all the recruitment processes on alleged claims of pregnancy that was not to be,” said the governor, who added that the girl is now stigmatised over the claim. Ruto called for the repeat of the exercise and demanded that governors be involved in the exercise for transparency sake. “The recent recruitment was a total sham. Bribery and favouritism were reported. It was a case of the highest bidders taking the slots,” said Ruto.


 


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