23 January 2013

Kenya: Details Emerge in Police Impostor Case

Photo: Kenya Police/Facebook
Former police boss denies knowledge of police imposter (file photo).

The West Pokot divisional police commander yesterday narrated how the the provincial police boss John M'Mbijiwe ordered him to issue police impostor Joshua Waiganjo with a letter appointing him as a reservist.

David Wambua told the probe team investigating Waiganjo activities how M'Mbijiwe called him sometime in November last year and told him to expect a senior police officer who should be issued with a letter appointing him to the Kenya Police Reserve.

He said he waited for the better part of the morning but left to attend a meeting at the county commission's office. "While at the meeting, the PPO called me very furious asking where I was since the person he had sent to me had found my office empty," Wambua said.

He recalled that M'mbijiwe's voice was booming in anger as he ordered him to immediately leave the meeting and go back to his office to wait for the 'officer."

"He ordered me to immediately open a file for the said officer and write him a letter appointing him as a police reservist in West Pokot. He told me to ensure that the letter was sent back to the provincial police headquarters the same day," Wambua said.

He said that he waited in his office for more than five hours before Waiganjo eventually turned up. Waiganjo was visibly drunk and bragged to him about the wide network he had in the police from the police headquarters to Turkana.

At the same time, Waiganjo pretended to be talking to senior policemen at police headquarters on his cellphone as he ordered Wambua to write him the appointment letter.

"I found it very irregular as the PPO had told me that he was an assistant commissioner of police. It would have been improper for me, a senior superintendent of police to appoint him. With this argument, I wrote back to M'mbijiwe and advised him to appoint Waiganjo himself," Wambua said.

He said he assigned a policemen to check the Kitale police records to authenticate Waiganjo's claims that he had served there. It emerged that Waiganjo had actually been fired in 2003 due to bad behaviour.

Wambua was just the latest policemen to narrate to the probe team how M'mbijiwe and Waiganjo terrorized junior officers and forced them to obey unlawful orders.

Earlier, Chief Inspector Stephen Komen, who is in charge of transport at the Rift Valley police headquarters said he discovered that Waiganjo had been using a police service number--56748-- assigned to a constable recruited in the early 1980s.

Komen said Waiganjo not only signed work tickets for police vehicles but on several occasions signed out police vehicles for various missions with the permission of M'mbijiwe.

Komen said Waiganjo appeared at his office several times between last August and November asking to be assigned vehicles and fuel.

"On all these occasions, I would call the PPO to confirm the orders and the PPO always asked me to comply with Waiganjo's demands. Actually, at one time he asked me to personally drive Waiganjo to Naivasha after I released a vehicle to him," Komen told the commission.

Subukia divisional police boss Jecinta Odhiambo narrated how she was intimidated by M'mbijiwe and Waiganjo and ordered to release two lorries that she had impounded for being involved in robberies.

Odhiambo said Waiganjo's brother arrived at her office in August last year with what he purported to be court orders directing the release of the two lorries.

It emerged that Waiganjo signed an affidavit claiming he was Samuel Kabiru, the proprietor of Lakers Auto Spares whose lorries had been illegally impounded by the police. It is on the basis of these claims that he was granted release orders by senior principal magistrate John Njoroge.

Odhiambo said M'mbijiwe threatened her when she called him and informed him that she could not release the lorries as the orders were directed at Lakers Autos and not the police.

"He asked me if I had read a paragraph in the orders directing the he (M'mbijiwe) be the one to supervise the effecting of the orders. When I told him yes, he said, 'Jecinta, nikiitwa kortini juu ya kupuuza orders, sitafanya kazi tena na wewe' (Jecnita, If I am summoned to court for disobeying court orders, I will no longer work with you).

She said M'Mbijiwe did not give her time to complete her investigations and instead summoned her to his office where she found him in the company of Waiganjo.

"They seemed to have a cordial relationship from the way they spoke to each other. At one point, Waiganjo called the commissioner of police Matthew Iteere and asked me to greet him but I declined knowing the protocol of the police service meant I could only deal with my immediate boss, the PPO, on the matter," she said.

She said that after Waiganjo ended his phone conversation, he told M'Mbijiwe in her presence, that Iteere had promised to promote him to the rank of assistant commissioner of police.

She said she resisted the pressure to release the lorries but the next day when she was off duty, M'mbijiwe visited the station and ordered her deputy to release the vehicles.

John Mwitereri who is in charge of the Rift Valley provincial armoury and police uniform store told the commission that Waiganjo was not among the list of the 4,700 Kenya police reservists currently serving in Rift Valley.

Before his interdiction, M'mbijiwe had claimed that Waiganjo was an assistant commissioner of police heading the Kenya Police Reserves in Rift Valley province.Mwitereri denied issuing any uniform or weapons to Waiganjo.

An officer in charge of issuing uniforms and firearms at the Anti Stock Theft Unit in Gilgil --Susan Nashushu--denied she had issued Waiganjo with the uniform he was spotted wearing at Baragoi.

Isaac Musyoka, the provincial transport officer said it become impossible to advise M'mbijiwe on matters related to the deployment and repair of police vehicles.

Musyoka said M'Mbijiwe issued instructions that all major repairs on all police vehicles be assigned to Waiganjo including paint jobs to change the colour and registration numbers of police vehicles to civilian vehicles.

Three other witnesses--Peter Nzioka attached to Highway Patrol, the Naivasha base commander Roy Njeru and a Constable Jackson Makaya based in Nakuru were allowed to testify in camera due to the sensitive nature of their evidence.

Also allowed to testify in private was the secretary in the PPO's office Lucy Kariuki. Hearing continues this morning.

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