The Star (Nairobi)

5 January 2013

Kenya: 'Police Bosses Helped Fake Nakuru Cop'

The independent team of investigators to probe into the unfolding scandal of a police imposter is expected to commence its investigations .  ( Resource: Team To Investigate Kenya Police Imposter

THE family of a man accused of impersonating a senior police officer yesterday claimed that both former Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere and Rift Valley police boss John M'mbijiwe knew him.

Iteere yesterday denied having anything to do with Waiganjo, 35 years old.

"I have never seen the man, he is not my friend, and I never appointed him. Let them produce my letter or certificate of appointment," Iteere said on phone yesterday.

Rift Valley PPO John M'mbijiwe on Thursday described Waiganjo as a conman.

Waiganjo reportedly became a police reservist in 2002. After the police reserve was disbanded in 2004, Waiganjo became a conductor working on his father's matatus. In 2009 the family claim that he was reappointed a senior superintendent of police.

Since then, Waiganjo has been operating out of Nakuru police station. On Thursday he was charged in Naivasha with the theft of a lorry in Kikopey in August 2012 amid allegations that he has been behind other robberies on the Nairobi-Nakuru road over the last five years.

He was unmasked after he flew in a police helicopter to Suguta valley after the Baragoi massacre in November.

New Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo has already formed a team to investigate the matter and report in two weeks time.

Criminal Investigations Department revealed that senior police officers have been lined up for questioning.

"There are many unanswered questions over this imposter who operated for over five years and a senior CID officer has taken over the matter," said the source.

Since 2009 Waiganjo has reportedly worked closely with all the Provincial Police Officers who have been posted to Rift Valley.

His family yesterday claimed that current PPO John M'mbijiwe visited their home on several occasions including a party on Christmas Eve.

The family showed photographs of the Rift Valley police boss attending the burial of Waiganjo's grandmother on August 10, 2012 at Njoro public cemetery. He allegedly addressed mourners and dispatched police Land Rovers to transport mourners.

The suspect's father, Bishop Ephraim Waiganjo Karianjahi, says he was perturbed that M'mbijiwe was quoted yesterday describing his son as a conman whose time had come to an end.

"The PPO has been to our home. We have been to his home in Meru when his wife who is also a bishop like me had a fundraising for her church. We donated a hundred bags of cement and took them with us to Meru," Bishop Karianjahi said.

He added that M'mbijiwe hosted his last born son John Kariuki and his newly wedded wife to a luncheon at his Milimani home in Nakuru after he was unable to attend the couple's wedding ceremony a few days earlier.

"He gave my son this he-goat as his wedding present after preparing a meal for them," the clergyman said as he pointed to a goat grazing within the family's compound.

"If they now say my son is a thief, like the charges they have preferred against him, then he was stealing with them and for them as my son introduced them to me at this home as his colleagues," said the old man, himself a retired police officer.

He said that his son, a Class Eight drop out, was recruited as a police reservist in 2002 and posted to Kitale.

His son came home and became a conductor in his father' matatu after former Police commissioner Maj Gen Hussein Ali disbanded the Kenya Police Reservists in 2004.

"However, in 2009, he was called back and given the rank of senior superintendent of police posting him to Nakuru to work with the PPO and the commandant anti stock theft unit in Gilgil," Karianjahi said.

He said that the police issued him the uniforms found in his son's two homes. Waiganjo has two wives who stay at rented homes in Gilgil and Njoro.

The bishop said his son called him in September last year to say that he had been promoted to assistant commissioner of police.

"We were elated. We organized and held a big homecoming ceremony for him at the Njoro Full Gospel Church where I am a bishop," he said.

During the ceremony, Njoro divisional police boss Peter Njeru was the master of ceremony.

The family showed photos of an operation by senior police officers including Waiganjo in Baragoi area of Samburu County on October 30.

According to Karianjahi, his son's misfortune dates back to that operation shortly before cattle rustlers killed 40 policemen.

"When they came back from Baragoi, my son told me that they had all been summoned by the Deputy Police Commissioner Julius Kosgei to record statements about the operation," he said.

"Joshua told me that the PPO did not want him to go record the statement and had prevailed upon the police leadership to direct him not to record the statement. He told me 'Baba hapa iko shida' (Father, there is a problem) but he eventually went and recorded the statement at the police headquarters," the bishop said.

The bishop called for thorough investigation before his son is "made someone's scapegoat."

"If they pulled my son's call records from his phone, they would see that he would talk to police chiefs on a daily basis to give them a progress report and to receive directions," he said.

He added that Waiganjo had just embarked with M'mbijiwe on the joint construction of a house in Njoro next to their home.

The bishop said that his son was using Anti Stock Theft Theft commandant Remy Ngugi's car or a green Land Rover belonging to the PPO's office.

"Is this really the conduct of an impostor or a robber as they are claiming?" he demanded.

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InFocus

New Twist in Kenya's 'Fake' Cop Scandal

The police force has admitted that the man arrested for impersonating a senior police officer for five years is an assistant commissioner in the police reservist unit. Read more »