, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – One hundred police officers who were attached to the National Transport and Safety Authority have been directed to go on leave pending re-deployment after recent mandate change.
According to a circular seen by Capital FM News, the officers will stay at home for 10 days after which they will report to Police Headquarters for fresh duties.
This comes a few days after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the NTSA off the roads, saying the work of managing traffic should be left to traffic police.
The move is aimed at curbing road accidents that have increased in the recent past claiming the lives of many Kenyans.
According to NTSA statistics, more than 3,000 lives were lost to road carnage last year, 200 being killed in the month of December alone.
Kenya is ranked among countries with the worst road safety records globally based on a 2015 World Health Organisation (WHO) report titled the Global Status on Road Safety.
The report shows that Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda with respectively 29.1, 32.9 and 32.1 deaths per 100,000 people, are amongst the worst 10 performers on road fatalities in the continent. It is among the worst 20 in the world, with Uganda placed better 27.4.
While available statistics show that up to 3,000 people die annually from road accidents in Kenya, this year’s toll is likely to be even higher due to the increased number of accidents recorded since June.
WHO differs with the country’s official statistics and instead places the annual death toll at an average of 12,000, with many accidents blamed on faulty vehicles and minimal or total lack of enforcement by authorities coupled with bribery.
The report shows that no African country except South Africa meets any of the UN’s seven main vehicle safety standards.
Police Headquarters is yet to release the final accidents toll for 2017.