, NAIROBI Kenya, Jan 8 – The second phase of police vetting kicked off on Tuesday with issues of corruption dominating the day.
The vetting panel wanted to understand the role the senior police officers have played in reducing corruption during their various ranks in the service as well as their sources of wealth.
Five Deputy Commissioners in the service underwent the vetting. They include Levin Mwandi who heads the National Disaster Operations Centre, Beatrice Nduta, the Director of Community Policing, Gender and Child Protection and Leo Nyongesa Acting Director of Internal Affairs Unit.
Others include Nairobi County Commander Benson Kibue and Julius Kanampiu of the office of the Inspector General of Police.
Nduta was hard pressed to elaborate what measures her department has taken to ensure the police service adopts community policing currently under a programme dubbed Nyumba Kumi led by one of the vetting panellists, Joseph Kaguthi.
The panel pointed out that there were minimal efforts from the department to ensure it was successful.
In her defence, Nduta explained that in the previous curriculum of police, community policing was not enshrined saying that the colonial syllabus, “was meant to make police officers harass the public.”
She noted that community policing had previously been left in the mercies of station commanders who wish to practice it, contrary to now, where it has been made compulsory by the law.
“All officers will be required to adopt the policy…and they can only do it if they have a good relationship with the community so that it can be a reality in this country,” she said.
She gave an example of Lari and Kikuyu police stations where station commanders have fully adopted the Nyumba Kumi initiative.
Nduta was accused by her former boss at the Kenya Airports Police Unit (KAPU) whom she was deputizing of being rebellious towards him.
The then KAPU commander had informed the vetting panel of an incident where Nduta had opened a personal letter sent to him.
Nduta defended her action saying the letter had no address indicating who the recipient was.
“The letter could have held important information that needed to be acted on. If a letter does not have one personal number, I treat it as very official,” she explained.
The commandant had said that she had forcefully demanded for the letter from the secretary.
She however responded that , “if a letter is bearing a personal number, then it can be treated as private but if the letter was really personal to him, then I admit it could have been a mistake.”