NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – National Police Service Commission Chairman Johnstone Kavuludi on Thursday announced that the third place of police vetting will kick off on Monday.
This was after the commission replaced four members of the vetting panel who resigned on Tuesday and Wednesday because of their involvement in the Nyumba Kumi initiative and in the case of Professor Njogu Kimani, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa.
“These members have already been replaced by other experts namely John Mutonyi, Charles Muthusi, Samuel Karicho, George Ole Kiok and two other nominees who are expected from the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights and the National Gender and Equality Commission,” he enumerated.
Muthusi being a Law Society of Kenya nominee, Mutonyi having been a Deputy Director at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Karicho representing the Directorate of Public Sector Management and Kiok having been previously in the Public Service Commission.
“The work we’re carrying on has a lot to do with industrial relations and labour relations,” Kavuludi explained.
He also insisted that the resignations of Joseph Kaguthi, Captain (Rtd) Simiyu Werunga and Dr Francis Sang in addition to Kimani were not aimed at scuttling the vetting exercise and would have no effect at all.
In their letter of resignation they explained that their participation in the third phase of the vetting exercise would interfere with their responsibilities in the Nyumba Kumi Initiative as taskforce members.
“In the case of the Nyumba Kumi initiative, we had told them we are starting the third phase on February 14 but because of the need to lengthen the period of public participation we ran into two other weeks after that and that overran their programme so it was inevitable that they carry on with the programmes that they had arranged,” Kavuludi explained.
And to prevent similar occurrences in future, Kavuludi said the commission had resolved that ‘co-opted’ members would henceforth only participate in one phase of vetting each.
“As the cohorts become larger, co-opted members will be replaced after each phase of vetting as we appreciate other commitments at their original work stations and thus try not to inconvenience them.
“Section 13 of the NPSC Act is very clear that only Commissioners and not co-opted members can participate in the final decision making.” he said.
Apart from the resignations of the four vetting panel members, 16 of the 182 Senior Assistant Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners of Police who were to be interviewed starting Monday have resigned.
“Some of them had reached the age of 60 or were just on the threshold of 60 and they did not find it meaningful to participate. For example if and officer is retiring by the end of February or March, they’re almost sure that by the time we release the results, they’d already have retired,” he reasoned.
The remaining 166 are scheduled to undergo vetting until March 14 with the vetting panel having been split into four to accommodate their number.
“Each chaired by a commissioner and three other panel members to henceforth undertake vetting. These four panels will conduct interviews concurrently and on alternate days at the Commission’s officers at Sky Park Plaza, Westlands,” Kavuludi said.
The fourth phase of vetting targeted at “thousands” of Senior Superintendent and Superintendent of Police will take place at the county level.
And as for the five senior police officers who failed the vetting exercise out of 30, three have appealed and they include former Deputy Police Commissioner Francis Okonya, former North Eastern provincial police chief Philip Tuimur and Eusebius Laibuta who was in charge of the Senior Administration Police College.
“Such a review as it is being carried out, such a person shall take leave,” Kavuludi said.