Capital FM (Nairobi)

22 November 2012

Kenya: Queries Linger Over Police Service Nominees

Grace Kaindi, David Kimaiyo, Ndegwa Muhoro and Samwel Arachi may have jumped the second hurdle in the journey to the helm of the revamped police service, but it appears another tough test lies ahead.

The four are among nine candidates nominated for the positions of Inspector General of Police and two deputies after undergoing interviews by the National Police Service Commission.

But barely two days after the commission announced it would forward their names to the president and prime minister, serious integrity concerns were levelled against them on Thursday by 10 civil society organisations.

The non-governmental organisations demanded that the four be thoroughly investigated over alleged corruption, drug trafficking, tribalism, and the roles they played during the 2008 post election violence in addition to contempt of court charges.

"Some of these individuals may be picked and then we will find ourselves back to square one with their positions being challenged in court. Kenyans will then have to go through the whole process again," argued Kenya Human Rights Commission Executive Director Atsango Chesoni.

Kimaiyo and Kaindi are the top contenders for Inspector General of police scoring 86.48 percent and 69.40 percent respectively.

And although they are inches away from the coveted job, allegations against them have refused to go away and they just might steal their dream job.

"On Kaindi, we want to know what the commission found out about her role during the post election violence as the (Nyanza) Provincial Police Officer and her alleged reluctance to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in procuring evidence to prosecute the perpetrators," said Odhiambo Oyoku, Rights Promotion and Protection Center Executive Coordinator.

Kimaiyo's role during the post election violence also came into question with the group demanding to know the circumstances under which he was transferred to the Gender Ministry soon after peace was restored in the country in 2008.

The activists further demanded to know whether or not the commission investigated Muhoro's alleged role in the Democratic Republic of Congo gold syndicate alongside drug dealing and contempt of Court charges. Muhoro is currently the Director of CID and emerged tops after interviews for the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the regular police.

Arachi, whose name was among those forwarded as nominee for deputy Inspector General in charge of the Administration Police, faces tribalism and corruption allegations with the group asking whether or not the commission had investigated them before giving him the green light.

"If any of these candidates is appointed the country will end up undermining the envisaged police reforms," warned Chesoni.

Independent Medico-Legal Unit Executive Director Peter Kiama urged the Parliamentary Committee on Administration and National Security to engage the public before forwarding the names to the Principals.

He said that it was imperative for the country to get good police officers in light of the forthcoming elections.

"We wish to state that these recruitments are not ordinary as they touch on the very heart of the existence of this country and that is national security. The recruitments are meant to restore the confidence of Kenyans in the National Police Service," he argued.

Kiama also urged the Johnston Kavuludi led National Police Service Commission to expedite the process of vetting all the police officers in the country.

Kavuludi's team is currently facilitating the nationwide recruitment of police officers. Reports coming in from Nyahururu and Nyanza regions experienced low turnout.

Most recruits who spoke to Capital FM News said they feared being deployed to the most volatile areas owing to recent attacks on law enforcers.

The sentiments were also echoed by Nyahururu District AP Commander Daniel Masaba saying the situation has been a blow to the recruitment exercise saying the service may not get the right people it.

"The issue of security in the country is very serious and what is happening especially to the uniformed officers has contributed so much to the low turnout," he said.

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