Corruption thrives in Kenya police force

TI Kenya Executive Director Samuel Kimeu on Friday explained that police officers are the ones who demand bribes from public/FILE

TI Kenya Executive Director Samuel Kimeu on Friday explained that police officers are the ones who demand bribes from public/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 25 – The Kenya Police Service remains the most corrupt-prone public institution, according to research conducted by Transparency International (TI) Kenya.

TI Kenya Executive Director Samuel Kimeu on Friday explained that police officers are the ones who demand bribes from public.

“The Kenya Police took the lead as the sector most affected by bribery with an index of 70.7 percent.”

“Probability of one paying a bribe upon encountering a situation where they are on the wrong is high,” he said.

Kimeu noted that though the police have been undergoing reforms with the establishment of the National Police Service Commission bribery is still rampant.

“Officers in the service have for a long time been a conduit of corruption in Kenya.”

“Given the poor ranking of the police as an institution, perhaps there is need to access the effectiveness of the policies, legislations and new institutions to determine whether Kenya really needs them,” he added.

The institution that followed is the Lands Department at 46.7percent which is the institution where the average bribe demanded is Sh8,949 compared to the police who demand an average of Sh4,411.

“Land Service, the Judiciary and Registry/Licensing offices follow as the institutions with cases of bribery,” he said.

Kimeu added that respondents gave reasons for their paying bribes as disheartening calling for immediate action by the government.

“Hastening service delivery was the main reason given by the respondents as reason for paying bribes.”

“It is also important to note that some pay bribes because it is expected or to avoid paying the full price for something or to access a service they did not legally deserve,” he added.

The institution further researched on the reasons for not reporting bribery cases.

“We sought to inquire why people did not report the incidents and what stood out was they knew no action would be taken even if the matter had been reported.”

“Thirteen percent of respondents noted fear of intimidation as a reason for failing to report incidents they encountered.”

“An equal number said that they feared self incrimination from reporting the bribery incident,” Kimeu said.

This year, 64percent describe the current status of corruption as high while 8percent disagreed, arguing that it is low as compared to levels from last year.

“Kenyans have however shown confidence in the government’s ability to fight corruption.”

“Reasons cited are the government’s efforts to oversee the full implementation of the new constitution which has strong safeguards against corruption,” he added.

In July, TI Kenya reported the police as the most corrupt and Inspector General David Kimaiyo swore to deal with corrupt officers who “tarnish” the name of the force.

Kimaiyo said officers found engaging in corrupt dealings will be prosecuted and relieved of their duties for bringing the service into disrepute.

“I think it is due to the physical presence of police officers on our roads and receiving some money which is even not worth mentioning. Somebody is receiving Sh20, Sh30, Sh50 or Sh100 and that actually tarnishes the good name of the service.”

The Inspector General has therefore asked members of the public who witness officers receiving bribes to capture evidence of the illicit transactions on their mobile phones.

Those who hand over under the table payments were also put on notice with Kimaiyo promising that they too will face the full force of the law regardless of whether or not it was the officer who demanded the bribe.

“We want to remove this issue of corruption from the service once and for all. It is no longer routine as usual. We have to take this one very seriously and I want to issue that warning to both the givers and the receivers,” Kimaiyo said.

JEMIMAH WANGUI

JEMIMAH WANGUI

Jemimah Wangui is a Daystar University graduate with a passion for features stories. She has been in writing for four years and believes that media is a great channel to communicate. She considers that she is the change that she wants to see and thus puts her best foot forward as she works at Capital FM to ensure that she leaves a legacy to be emulated.

  • Dan

    is the IG saying the police should receive bigger bribes to make it worth the effort to track and prosecute them?