, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – A senior police officer was on Tuesday tasked to explain his source of income and why he had never made withdrawals from three bank accounts with millions of shillings since 1999.
During a vetting session for the officer, the National Police Service Commission chairman Johnstone Kavuludi was particularly interested to know how Joshua Aseto has been surviving with no withdrawals from his bank accounts yet he had financial obligations as a family man and father of three.
The Senior Superintendent of Police who had been dismissed after a vetting session last year was appearing for fresh vetting following his appeal for a review of that decision.
Aseto, a diabetic who has undergone an amputation on his left leg, was hard pressed to explain his source of income and why for number years he has not been withdrawing cash from his three accounts despite being a father of three.
One of the accounts has Sh1.4 million which has not seen a withdrawal since 1999, the second account has Sh3.3 million while the third account has Sh409, 000.
“You were removed from the service because of being unable to convincingly explain to the vetting panel the source of your income which was accumulating in your accounts and secondly you were not able to tell us how you were able to afford the daily expenses without withdrawing any money from your accounts,” the Commission Chairperson Johnstone Kavuludi explained.
Drama ensued even before the officer clarified the contentious issues after his lawyer Abbas Esmail sought to know in what nature his client was being questioned.
The lawyer had an acrimonious session with the vetting panel that forced Kavuludi to switch off his Hansard microphone insisting that exercise was administrative and only required the individual police officer.
“What I’m seeking for is whether this is a vetting review which is governed under regulation 33 of the National Police Vetting regulations or it’s a re-vetting of the applicant?” the lawyer had enquired.
“It raises several issues; the discriminatory manner the commission is treating officers of a certain rank.”
Kavuludi in a quick rejoinder said, “I’m afraid, counsel, that we will not allow you to answer professional questions for the police officer.”
With the drama over, the officer was asked to defend his case for the commission to determine whether he will be re-admitted to the police service.
Aseto has served the police service for 20 years, living with diabetis for 16 years and would often require medical attention, but even with this, he did not withdraw his cash.
In his defence, he said the money was deposited in a fixed account, “and it was also earning some interest.”
He went on to explain that “In 2005, from my salary I had saved Sh1.6 million because I wanted to plan my future.”
The amount has earned interest, “and has reached Sh2 million. It is in a fixed account.”
He has also not withdrawn any money from his salary account since 20th November 2014 to date.
To defend his ‘saving’ culture, Aseto, a father of three told the commissioners, “I do not know of any extravagant life. When I need food, my wife normally sends me food…fish and flour.”
He told the commission that he is on diet due to his medical condition.
“I have been living alone with my simple, thin, lean and mean life,” he said.
Aseto is among 37 officers who are to undergo fresh vetting after they appealed last year’s decision to sack them.
They were among 62 officers sacked after they failed to meet the set threshold on competence and suitability.
Kavuludi said the officers will be vetted afresh with more attention being accorded to specific areas they feel could have been misconstrued.
Ten of those officers were invited for fresh vetting on Tuesday in an exercise that will run until Friday this week.