NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – A senior policeman who told the Kavuludi-led vetting panel that he would die if sacked is among two officers dismissed by the National Police Service Commission on Friday afternoon.
Eusebius Laibuta who was in charge of the Senior Administration Police College was found unsuitable to continue serving alongside Philip Tuimur who formerly served as the North Eastern Provincial Police chief.
National Police Service Commission Chairman Johnstone Kavuludi said the officers were dismissed after failing to meet the required standards set out by law.
The vetting panel also said it needed to conduct further investigations on three other senior officers – Deputy Criminal Investigation Director Gideon Kimilu, deputy reforms director King’ori Mwangi and Peter Pamba of the Administration Police.
Eighteen police officers – among them Nairobi County Commander Benson Kibue – were found suitable to continue serving in the National Police Service.
During the release of the vetting results, Kavuludi addressed concerns raised by a section of lobby groups on the exercise.
The commission had been accused of ignoring some issues and more specifically officers’ human rights record and instead was dwelling much on issues of financial probity.
On this, he said, “For senior police officers, work record not only brings the officers to account for their past performance but also reveals the extent to which they are qualified to continue holding the position.”
He said that the panel appreciates public participation and as a result have given them 14 days to lodge their complaints.
“In practice however, the commission has continued to receive and address complaints that have been received even after the lapse of 14 days. In a recent advertisement for the next phase of vetting involving 182 officers of the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners of police, six had been allocated, which were not considered adequate. This was extended to 14 days,” he explained.
After the announcement, Kavuludi affirmed that reforms in the police service were going to continue despite receiving death threats. As the man in the helm of police reforms, Kavuludi said he will not relent in unity with other stakeholders in pushing for a better police service, which offer quality services to the public.
“Getting a threatening message when you are in a position where you make public decision is very normal while you are working here or any other place in the world,’ he stated.
“We are not sure who may have dispatched the threatening messages to us…you can however see we are safe.”
Kavuludi had received a letter together with a commissioner in the NPSC, which had some powder which is still being tested at the government chemist.
“The chairman will not be afraid of continuing to undertake reforms; it simply increases our resolve to carry out reforms,” he said.
Those sacked have an option of contesting the decision.
Laibuta had been hard pressed to explain on his source of wealth.
“Stop saying that you work from here and there, be specific so that we can understand,” At one time the chairman of the panel posed after he failed to answer financial some questions.
Commissioners in charge of financial probity at one time said they had no question for him as his statements were confusing.
It also emerged that he was not sure of where he owned property; for example a plot in the coast region where he said, “somewhere in Malindi.”
He was further grilled to explain on the source of some deposits he had made in his bank account which he said, “I did some business.”
“You cannot tell what you get in a tea farm in a year?” Joseph Kaguthi had posed.
He kept on telling the commission to refer to the statement as, “I cannot remember and I do not want to start counting. I will waste time for the commission.”
He had also not declared all his accounts. “I have not declared all my accounts because the rest have no money.”
“I never knew I was supposed to give all my accounts,” a hesitant Laibuta said.
His final appeal however remained outstanding. “Let us not be condemned because if we do that, sir, you will start finding us in the obituaries of the newspapers. Serving for more than 30 years others for more than I have, is not easy, instead of issuing a death warrant into some of us, please put our service into consideration.”
“These two hours, let them not be enough to declare us unfit, personally I make a personal appeal,” he had desolately pleaded.
Other who sailed through include Beatrice Nduta (Police Headquarters), Charlton Mureithi (Police Headquarters), Aggrey Adoli (Mombasa regional Coordinator), Levin Mwandi, Leo Nyongesa (Internal Affairs Unit), Francis Munyambu (Nairobi Metropolitan Police), Silas McOpiyo (Planning), Joseph ole Tito (Kenya Airports Police Unit), Julius Kanampiu (IGP’s office), Mercus Ochola and Joseph Ashimala (Kenya Police College).
Joel Mboya Kitili, Boniface Maingi (GSU), Rodgers Mbithi, (Kenya Police Airwing), Francis Wanjohi (firearms) and Fred Mwei (Deputy Commandant Administration Police) also got the nod.
The vetting process is being conducted pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution Article 246 and National Police Service Act (2011) Section 7(2) and (3) which stipulate that members of the National Police Service shall undergo vetting to assess their suitability and competence.
The overall objective of the vetting is to build confidence and trust in the National Police Service.
The applicable vetting standards include officers’ satisfaction of entry and training requirements, their professional conduct and discipline, integrity, financial probity, and respect for human rights.
The third phase will start on 14th February and ends on 8th March where four panels chaired by a member of the NPSC will undertake the exercise. 182 senior Assistant Commissioners of police and Assistant commissioners will be vetted.