Clean up the mess at Vigilante house or shut it down- officers demand

A disillusioned Police Officer from Kirinyaga County leaves the podium after making his recommendations to the retired Chief Justice Kenani Maraga  led commission on reforms to better the Kenya police service. Commissioner Rosalind Odede ,far right received verbal and written sub missions from the officers at the Bekam hotel which lasted for a whole day

Police officers have told the  Maraga led Police Reforms  Commission to  urgently clean up the mess at the Vigilante House  in Nairobi or have it closed down completely for failing to observe governance hygiene.

The officers claimed the rot at their headquarters was no longer unbearable and the first step to end graft was to scrap the position of the Personnel Officer whom  they accused of milking them dry .

The commission which met the officers in Kirinyaga County at the Bekam Hotel ,Kerugoya told  Rosaline Odede who is one of the Commissioners that the said Personnel office should  be scrapped and replaced with that of the Human Resource.

“According to Vigilante we are just tools and not Human beings hence our urge to move expeditiously and restore normalcy and our eroded dignity before we reach a breaking point , “ a DCI  officer of the rank of an Inspector  told  an attentive Odede .

It also emerged that officers who  are attached to the KRA, Kenya Railways , the Airports  the Traffic department  and other high profile assignments  normally heavily  buy their way to such institutions  and their survival there depended on how much  they  continue to cough to the said personnel department.

During  the day long submissions   to the commission ,it was also claimed the recent pass out at Kiganjo police college of Inspectors cadets the graduads were children of who is who in the country.

The officers who appeared completely demoralized further told the commission that their colleagues who live in privately rented premises were only receiving Sh 5,500 House Allowance which was not enough to secure them decent living environments .

“Madam Commissioner some of these officers go to their houses with arms and ammunition thereby exposing them to serious danger in the event they were attacked in the privately rented accommodation and  the government should scrap  this arrangement immediately  ,” the disillusioned officers told the commission.

An officer who got a serious bullet injury at  the trouble torn Kapendo area of the Rift Valley said despite being over 50 years and disabled  he was  still  being subjected to frequent  transfers .

“I should be  retired on medical grounds  when am able to do a  few things  here and there but now am being told I will retire  at 65 when I will be completely worn out ,you can imagine ,”  the literally sobbing officer told the Commission.

The commission further heard that a police station is only authorised to use 45 liters a month and wondered how they were expected to serve without falling into the pits of corruption by asking Kenyans to provide fuel in order to be served.

Earlier on area County Commissioner Moses  Ivuto  in his opening remarks asked the officers to be free and enumerate all their problems  to the commission while no one would victimize  them for calling a spade a spade .

A Constable who is due for retirement in two years’ time and attached to general duties throughout his 30 year service decried the culture of transporting dead bodies some retried from rivers after six months in the same vehicle.

“You find it’s only the boss and the driver who rides  at the front seat of a police vehicle which is transporting a decomposed  body to the mortuary while  juniors like us are compelled to accompany the corpse while at the rear of the   vehicle  and you can imagine the stench and subsequent mental anguish ,” he narrated .

He told  the commission the government should  procure and distribute special ambulances to all the 47 counties for sole purpose of transporting dead bodies to  save the officers the  psychological  trauma  they endure  in the course of their duties .

“This long term exposure to decomposing   corpses is what leads to  officers shooting each other  and excessive drinking  coupled by Miraa  chewing to escape the trauma , “ the commission heard .

And another crucial recommendation presented to the commission was that recruits from Kiganjo should never be posted to hotspots like Kapendo as  doing so was a straight death warrant due to lack of experience in combat .

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