Japhet Koome: How I will fight corruption in the National Police Service

Nominee for Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome appears before the Parliamentary vetting committee at County Hall, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Nominee for the position of Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome says he will fight corruption in the National Police Service, if approved.

While appearing before the Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations on Tuesday, Koome outlined how he will fight the vice.

“Things cannot continue as usual. We have seen it all, but we are going to leave this country for future generations. If you allow me to serve as Inspector General, we have no option. This is what I have been doing at the National Police College.”

“Talking to the recruits, every morning this [corruption] is a subject we deal with. We don’t teach how one can be corrupt. We teach officers how to fight corruption. We must take the bull by its horns,” said Koome.

The engineer noted that he would start with identification.

“I am here in uniform and with my two names. Any member of the public can identify me. If you approve my nomination, there will be no single day you will find me without the two names on my uniform and that is what I expect from my officers.”

“If the police IG will be all through with his name tag, I expect the same from my officers. They should be able to be identified by members of the public,” said Koome.

The police IG nominee equally promised to involve and reward Kenyans in the fight against corruption.

“What is happening along our roads is ugly. It’s not acceptable. I intend to go further and have a discussion with the service commanders so that we can have a reward mechanism to members of the public. So that any member of the public who is out there and captures a police officer receiving even a cent, that evidence is presented yo us, then there is a monetary reward to that member of the public. This will go right to the police stations, not just along the highways,” he added.

Koome also said he will introduce County Policing Authorities.

“It is in the law, but we have taken too long to activate those County Policing Authorities and that will be a game changer. What National Police Service Act says is that any barrier along the road must be entered in a register which is managed by the County Policing Authorities. If we go that way, we shall not have our officers along the highways without reason.”

On cattle rustling, Koome promised to deal with the issue and return to the Committee for legal assistance.

“Every year we lose about Sh51 billion in livestock rustling. That’s a substantial amount or money and you cannot put money on the lives lost. We are at a point where enough is enough. Officers have been running up and down pursuing the raiders who are idle youths, but they have been leaving out the livestock warlords because this is a major criminal commercial enterprise,” he noted.

“If we continue pursuing these youths who at the end of the day get very little out of that enterprise and we are leaving out the Lords we shall not get anywhere.”

If you approve my nomination, Koome said he would return to the committee so that livestock rustling is treated as a terrorist act. That way, any livestock warlords who will be arrested will be jailed for life.