13 November 2012

Kenya: Rights Groups Want Bar Set High for Police Boss

Deputy Director of Police Reforms King'ori Mwangi found himself in a spot as he was taken to task by the National Police Service Commission to explain ... ( Resource: Kenya's Search for Top Cop Continues )

Shortlisted applicants for the position of Inspector General of Police undergoing interviews must prove that they are beyond reproach.

A coalition of civil society groups has called on the National Police Service Commission to ensure thorough vetting so that the country avoids a similar situation that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission faces.

The High Court stopped Mumo Matemu from assuming office of director general at the anti-graft body, stating that "the court will interrogate whether the appointing authority undertook a proper inquiry before pronouncing whether the appointee has reached the constitutional threshold for appointment."

The executive director of the International Centre for Policy and Conflict Ndung'u Wainaina said the recruitment process should be based on "jurisdictional fact, rationality, integrity, competence and impartiality."

Among the applicants, one is said to own a petrol station along Jogoo road as well as some eight trucks for hire. The man, along with many serving officers who are seeking either the inspector general or the two deputies however cannot account for their source of wealth, which the rights groups want them to disclose.

The centre also asked the commission to investigate allegations that some serving police officers were connected to drug lords. Another applicant was accused of "killing" the cyber crime unit which is based at the Criminal Investigation Department after he ordered the release a Chinese national David Yang Zhihong arrested over counterfeit mobile phones and other electronic devices.

The officer then facilitated the Chinese to leave the country under a cloud of secrecy and recommended the dismissal of four cyber crime officers who had arrested the man. The four officers were trained under the US embassy's Diplomatic Security Anti-terrorism Assistance programme.

"Some dedicated junior police officers have suffered, including being sacked only to be reinstated, in the hands of these applicants for performing their duties according to the required standards," Ndung'u said.

The incident led the US government to suspend a Sh560 million funding for training and equipment to the unit in March. The four officers were reinstated into the force but have been transferred to far-flung posts as punishment for "disobeying their seniors."

"Currently, the cyber crime unit equipment has no licences and capacity to handle the cyber crimes and service the equipment," a said presentation to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority states.

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