, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 17 – Senior police officers were hard pressed on Tuesday to explain how they acquired wealth as their much awaited vetting kicked off at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) Nairobi.
Francis Okonya who deputised former police commissioner Mathew Iteere had a difficult time when he was asked to explain how he acquired his wealth without ever taking a loan from a financial institution.
The police vetting panel wanted to know why Okonya never used his payslip to apply for a loan throughout his career.
“I would like you to tell us exactly how you acquired these properties. When we look at your bank statement, there is no link to indicate that there were loan repayments,” one of the panellists posed.
“All what I was getting went into savings. It is after that when I invested in land so I never went to any bank for a loan,” he replied.
Senior Deputy Commissioner of Police Peter Eregai was the first officer to be vetted and was also asked to explain how he acquired a parcel of land in Isiolo.
In response, Eregai said the land was allocated to him as family inheritance and stressed that he had no other sources of income except his salary.
“I was born in Isiolo, so that is the land I have known since I was born… the land that has been ours in the family for as long as I can remember,” he stated. “All I was getting as a police officer went to savings.”
He also revealed the circumstances under which he was moved to the Ministry of Local Government at one point in his career.
“The circumstances that led to my movement to the Ministry of Local Government was that there was some re-shuffle within the police service and I was given a letter to report to the Ministry of Local Government. So I reported to the ministry within an hour of receiving that document,” he stated at the start of the exercise,” he said.
He further underscored the need to pay officers enough to enable them concentrate on their work.
“I would request and urge that if that area is looked into, you will see a big turnaround in the Police Service.”
National Police Service Commission chairman Johnstone Kavuludi assured all the officers being vetted that the exercise would be free and fair, with no witch-hunting.
“The commission is aware that for this exercise to be successful, it must be conducted in a manner that meets the expectations of both the officers and the public. To this end, principles have been developed to guide the process some of which include that all officers shall undergo vetting individually, not as a group,” he said.
Speaking before the vetting began, Kavuludi pointed out that the process is expected to build confidence and trust in the National Police Service.