22 January 2013

Kenya: Police 'Imposter' Hobnobbed With the Mighty

Nairobi — Alleged police imposter Joshua Waiganjo used government vehicles from the Rift Valley Provincial Headquarters on several occasions, a commission investigating claims against him heard on Tuesday.

The commission was also told that Waiganjo would frequently visit the then Rift Valley PPO John M'mbijiwe sometimes dressed as an assistant commissioner of police, or in civilian clothes.

Chief Inspector Stephen Komen who heads the province's police transport unit told the commission Waiganjo first asked for a Land Cruiser from his office in August 2012.

Komen sought approval from the then PPO, who allowed Waiganjo to use the government vehicle.

In his testimony, Komen said that he was even ordered to be Waiganjo's driver for a while yet he is not supposed to drive an Assistant Commissioner of Police "whether real or fake" considering being a chief inspector he is very senior.

"Normally, an assistant commissioner of police is not driven by an officer of my rank, but I obliged because I am working in a discipline force where we obey orders from our seniors," he said.

In another incident, the commission heard Waiganjo was driven to the provincial police headquarters in a Land Rover assigned to the Njoro police division.

"He ordered me to fuel it and after consulting the PPO, I fuelled for him at a cost of Sh15,000,"revealed Komen.

He said Waiganjo also used a government lorry to collect sawdust from mill for sprinkling at M'mbijiwe's chicken house at Milimani estate in Nakuru.

"I only learnt that he was a fake policeman after I read in the media, I regret that I was so misused, I have learnt my lesson," said Komen.

Subukia police chief Jacinta Odhiambo who also testified before the commission told how M'mbijiwe allegedly forced her to release two vehicles belonging to Waiganjo from Kirengero Police Station.

On two occasions, she said she was summoned by the then PPO to his office and found Waiganjo in police uniform.

"M'mbijiwe gave me a court order addressed not to police as usual but to Lakers Automobiles, and it ordered the PPO to enhance release of the motor vehicles," said Odhiambo.

She was under too much pressure from the PPO that after releasing the first lorry she had to take some days off due to stress.

By the time she returned to work, her deputy had already released the second lorry after M'mbijiwe himself visited Kirengero Police Station.

The commission headed by Mary Owuor was also informed that Waiganjo was never issued with police uniform or a firearm from the provincial armoury.

Provincial Armoury Officer John Mithanga told the commission that Waiganjo was not listed as one of the currently serving police reservists in government records.

Suspended Njoro police chief Peter Njeru on Monday gave damning testimony, including how former police chief Mathew Iteere and M'mbijiwe were given top of the range vehicles by Waiganjo.

More witnesses are lined up to testify at the commission which will also hold hearings here in Nairobi from Wednesday.

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