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Natembeya: DP Ruto launch of Lanet police station shambolic

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya tells reporters at his office in Nakuru on December 20, 2021, that the opening of the new Lanet Police Station by DP William Ruto was unprocedural. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

"Shambolic..."

This is how best Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya described the controversial opening of Lanet Police Station in Nakuru by Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday, December 18.

Speaking in Nakuru on Monday, Natembeya told the press the correct procedure for opening the station was not followed, saying proper handing over will be done once investigations were completed.

Natembeya also pointed out government funds do not have patronage, saying public institutions are constructed with taxpayers’ money.

“When you build such a beautiful building and have so many writings on it, you are defacing it yourself. Government funds don’t have patronage, they are taxpayers' money. Let’s not take personal advantage and claim public projects,” said Natembeya.

Senior police officers and administrators failed to attend the Saturday morning event, leaving Lanet Police Station OCS, a chief inspector as the only senior-most officer to receive Ruto.

On this, Natembeya clarified that security was only to be provided to the Deputy President and nothing else.

“No police officer was in that place by invitation. Officers at the area were assigned to provide security to the Deputy President, and not to receive the police station,” he said.  

He termed the procedure for opening the station ‘shambolic’, insisting public institutions should not be politically partisan.

“Shambolic. Politics played a more prominent role than the objective of the station. We cannot politicise security. If a politician is building a public facility, once done, they should hand it over to the community, and not let it be politically partisan. We want to take responsibility for things that have happened under our watch,” Natembeya said.

Hours after the building’s unveiling, the plaque was removed, with fresh blue paint messily applied on the branding. The signage at the gate in National Police Service colours was also removed.

“This is the worst mistake government officers can do. I will take the matter to court with the county commissioner [sic] who was present as the [plaque] was defaced, and later raise it in Parliament,” said Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri.

Ngunjiri termed the building's defacing as political, saying he had launched several other stations earlier which were not defaced.

Responding to the allegations, police spokesman Bruno Shiosio said: “I’m not aware who did the defacing as alleged. I think CS is well above such. I think the local commander can fill you in best for now.”