Court blocks police recruits’ selection letters

August 11, 2014 8:58 am
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The judge has directed the matter be heard on August 20 to determine the complaints raised by IPOA/XINHUA-File
The judge has directed the matter be heard on August 20 to determine the complaints raised by IPOA/XINHUA-File
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 11 – The High Court has issued orders restraining the National Police Service Commission from issuing admission letters to 10,000 police recruits until a suit challenging the process is heard and determined.

The order was issued by Justice Mumbi Ngugi in a case filed by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority, which wants the recruitment nullified over corruption claims.

“The respondents are hereby restrained from issuing appointment letters to persons recruited to join the police service on the basis of the exercise carried out on July 14 or in any way acting on the results or outcome of the entire recruitment exercise,” she ruled.

The judge has directed the matter to be heard on August 20 to determine the complaints raised by IPOA.

The petition seeks to cancel the results of the recruitment exercise carried out on July 14, 2014 and a fresh one conducted.

Although the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission has indicated that it does not intend to call for the nullification of the entire exercise, IPOA insists it should be cancelled.

Johnstone Kavuludi who chairs the National Police Service Commission on his part says that although there were complaints from some of the stations, the exercise was conducted properly in most areas.

Kavuludi claims that IPOA’s suit is in bad faith since it failed to make complaints about the recruitment exercise available to the commission.

He insists that IPOA cannot take disciplinary or criminal proceedings against members of the recruitment committee because it has no mandate under the Constitution.

“It would be unprocedurally unfair to condemn the entire recruitment excise without following due process. It’s an affront against articles 10, 26, 27, 29 and 232 of the Constitution,” he said.

“The suit is premature on the basis that as it has not followed the procedural requirements of the law especially section 6 and 7 of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority Act and is fatally defective, amorphous and overtaken by events.”

IPOA Chairman Macharia Njeru says massive irregularities were noted going by reports received from observers as well as complaints received from the public.

Njeru argues that the exercise was carried out contrary to the Constitutional requirements and the National Police Service Act.

At the same time, Justice Ngugi blocked Kavuludi’s commission from implementing a multiple agency working group report on the recruitment exercise in affected areas until the case is heard and determined.

The team which was formed to investigate claims of bribery and other complaints arising from the recent police recruitment exercise is dawn from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, police, Interior ministry, the National Police Service Commission, the National Intelligence Service and civil society.

Nearly Sh90 million was spent for the recruitment which was conducted in 289 centres.

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