, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – More than 100 traffic police officers have been sacked after failing the vetting exercise conducted early this year.
The 127 officers who were based in Nyanza, Coast, Rift Valley and Western Kenya were dismissed by the National Police Service Commission over corruption, professional misconduct among other issues that compromised their integrity.
The Commission Chairperson Johnston Kavuludi says the officers could not explain large suspicious financial transactions in their bank accounts and mobile phones which are suspected to have been proceeds of corruption.
The officers were also found to have been receiving money from transporters and operators of breakdown businesses.
“A total of 72 officers are pending investigations before their vetting results are determined,” Kavuludi stated.
“The fact the 127 officers out of the 904 traffic officers so far vetted have been removed is a clear demonstration of the endemic vice of corruption in the traffic department. Unlike previously when only an average 4 percent of officers vetted were found to be unsuitable, this time the number has shot up to 14 percent.”
Some 904 officers from the traffic department were vetted in the four regions, but 26 were sacked for declining to face the panel.
“The commission would like to inform the public that the lessons learnt through the process of vetting have been very instrumental in the recent organization of the traffic department,” he said.
This was into relation of the recent move to decentralize the department, which will now falls under County Commanders.
The traffic department as currently constituted is incompatible with the structure of the National Police Service according to the Inspector General, hence making it ineffective in service delivery.
“This restructuring will bring professionalism unlike in the previous process,” the DIG in charge of police Joel Kitili said. “The fight against corruption is real. Let it be known.”
The County Commanders will now be in charge of the day-to-day traffic operations, personnel, arms, vehicles and other facilities under the traffic department.
The National Traffic Command which has been heading operations countrywide is now tasked with policy formulation, research, compiling statistics, training among other duties.
The commandant will also be in charge of the government vehicle unit, the driving test unit and public education.
The changes are contained in a circular released on Tuesday to all Regional Commanders, County Commanders, Divisional Commanders as well as directors of various departments at Police Headquarters.
On vetting, NPSC will now move to Nairobi and other remaining regions to vet the remaining traffic officers in the country.
Also to be vetted includes officers attached to the National Transport and Safety Authority, after complaints were filed that they were not complying with the law.
Going with the high number of dismissed officers, Kavuludi also assured the country that proper measures have been put in place to ensure they don’t indulge in criminal related activities.