13 June 2014

Kenya: Nine Top Cops Taken to Task Afresh Over Finances

Nairobi — It was a day of saying, 'I am sorry sir' or 'I apologise and it will never happen again' for nine senior police officers whose results were previously withheld by the National Police Service Commission.

The officers had pending issues ranging from financial probity and part-time businesses.

Fascinating was a case where one of the officers shifted the blame to his wife for his failure to submit her bank statements.

The Johnstone Kavuludi-led vetting panel wanted to know why despite being a requirement, Vitalis Okumu failed to submit his wife's bank statements.

Okumu who is based at CID headquarters said his wife categorically told him that he should not pester her and that she never wanted to be involved with the vetting exercise.

"Sir, I am very sorry if I gave the commission the wrong information. It is my wife who did not want to be connected with vetting," he stated.

"She told me that she does not own an account and therefore I should not disturb her but when I told her it will cost my job, that is when she agreed... otherwise commissioner sir, I have nothing to hide and that is the truth."

He added, "I have never even asked her how much she earns and wherever I ask her she tells me she is on contract and I cannot include her as someone who is working permanently."

"Those are always her words... I really tried."

At one time, he used Swahili to explain just how hard it was getting the statement. "Aliniambia sina account na usinisumbue (I don't have an account and stop disturbing me)," he said amid laughter in the room.

The officer's wife is a college student and works part time.

"I have never known how much she earns," he said.

Also questioned was Patrick Ndunda of the Fingerprints Unit who had indicated that he holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of Nairobi though he has not graduated yet.

He explained that he had rated himself as having a Second Class Honours, Upper Division on his performance in the 44 units he undertook in his course.

"I have records from the same university with me that show I did the minimum number of subject required by September last year," he stated.

"I went back to the university when I heard that this was required to get more information even my number that I was allocated when I applied for my Masters in February."

He was required to provide an official document from the university showing he has the qualifications.

Another officer was Francis Kirathe in charge of Administration Police in Nakuru who left the panel in laughter after assuming that he was now cleared after the short exercise.

"Myself, now that I have been cleared I will stand tall... I joined the service in 1977 and I have traversed in every part of the country," he said amid amusement from the panel.

"In fact those people who know me from all over were calling asking what the problem was; I have served every community and every part of the country."

Kavuludi had to explain that, "Now Mr Kirathe, the commission has not cleared you, and we just said that there was only one matter outstanding and which we needed some answers."

"You have given your answers and I think you are satisfied with them... but the commission will now need to sit down, deliberate, put together with other answers you gave and then communicate our decision to you in a few days."

"But what we love about you is your optimism... because you have answered and you have said thanks God, I am cleared. The clearance or non clearance will come at a later date."

Though visibly disappointed for not getting instant clearance he said, "I am sorry Mr Chairman, it is English and it was brought here by ship."

Others who were questioned include the Kenya Airports Authority General Manager in charge of security Eric Kiraithe, Pius Barasa, David Bunei of the GSU training school, Embakasi and Washington Ajuoga who serve at AP headquarters based in Jogoo house.

Issues of financial probity where almost all officers failed to submit some bank statements dominated the session.

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