Senior cops face disciplinary action over their juniors' M-Pesa dealings
By Patrick Kibet and Mercy Kahenda | September 4th 2016
The fate of senior police officers previously cleared by the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) vetting panel now hangs in the balance over questionable M-Pesa transactions with junior officers.
NPSC Chairman Johnston Kavuludi said officers who had earlier been cleared but their names were mentioned in suspect dealings will be investigated and punished if found culpable.
“Disciplinary action will be taken by the commission against the senior officers who have been mentioned by their juniors to have received money after the commission does thorough investigations,” said Mr Kavuludi.
Among those adversely mentioned during in the just concluded vetting in Rift Valley include a former Rift Valley Traffic Enforcement Officer, now in Tharaka Nithi County.
Junior police officers vetted revealed that they had sent money to the officer on many occasions.
The officer was among those who last month were promoted to the rank of Acting Assistant Inspector General, but their name did not make it to the final list released by Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet.
The officer is alleged to have received Sh72,280 from a traffic police constable based at the Rift Valley regional office.
When the junior officer appeared before the vetting panel, she said the money was a contribution for a “merry-go-round” of which her boss was a member. She said each individual in the chama would contribute Sh2,500 every week.
“The chama consisted of junior and senior officers whose contribution was equal,” the constable told the panel.
The senior officer is further accused by an inspector in Mogotio of frustrating and failing to assign him duties when he joined the traffic department from Western region.
The inspector told the Kavuludi-chaired panel that his boss only instructed him to report to work, but did not clarify what he was expected to do.
He said despite having worked hard to restore normalcy on roads, the boss wrote to him a letter, demanding to know why the number of traffic offences had reduced.
Another officer based in Ntulele sub-base also sent Sh9,800 to the same senior officer, money he claimed was for a “merry-go-round”.
The NPSC cleared the senior officer in January after being vetted last year and their results deferred for months. The officer was finally cleared and transferred.
A former Tharaka Nithi commander was also alleged to have received undisclosed amount of money from a constable while serving as Nakuru OCPD. A police sergeant also told the vetting panel he was forced to send Sh54,810 to the OCPD 28 times.
He said the money was meant for erection of a perimeter wall at the Central Police Station, with some meant for the purchase of a station extension generator.
In other revelations, a police constable sent Sh10,000 to an OCPD in Nandi, but could not explain the source of the money.
Other senior officers who received cash transfers from the same constable were a former Salgaa Traffic base Chief Inspector and a senior sergeant in Nakuru, to whom she sent Sh200,000.
A senior officer in Machakos was also mentioned among officers who received money from junior traffic officers who worked under him in the 2012-13 period under analysis.
A constable attached to Naivasha highway patrol unit told the vetting panel he sent Sh72,000 to the senior officer 14 times.
He claimed the money was for a “merry-go-round” and his boss was a member.
A senior sergeant in Naivasha also transferred money he claimed he collected from his colleagues to the Machakos-based senior cop.
The sergeant’s M-Pesa statements also showed he had transferred Sh45,000 to a former Traffic Enforcement officer in charge of Eastern Province.
The enforcement officer was, however, removed from the police service after he failed in the previous vetting of senior police officers.
An officer based in Kitale told the commission that she sent her former base commander money while serving in Western region. She claimed she was sending the money to the officer’s wife through him, but did not disclose what the money was for.
Another traffic officer based in Kitale told NPSC he was instructed to be sending Sh3,000 to the OCPD weekly.
He said the culture at the station while he served there in 2012 was that every Friday, officers were supposed to send the money to then Webuye OCPD.
“Let me be honest. When I was transferred to Webuye, my then base commandant told me that every Friday I had to send Sh3,000 to the OCPD. This was the culture I found in the station,” he said.
And when probed by the vetting panel over the source of the money he was sending to his seniors, the officer told the panel the money was a contribution from his 12 colleagues to their welfare.
His M-Pesa statement showed he had sent Sh25,000 to the OCPD in nine transactions and another 17 transfers to a traffic base commander.
Kavuludi said, “Disciplinary action will be taken against any senior officer linked to receiving bribes from members of the public through their juniors.”
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