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127 traffic officers sacked for receiving bribes, operating matatus

The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) has sacked 127 officers for receiving bribes and operating matatus.

NPSC chairman Johnstone Kavuludi said a decision on another 72 officers was deferred pending further investigations on their suitability to serve in the force.

NPSC officers serving as chief inspectors, sergeants, corporals and police constables failed to provide satisfactory explanations on huge deposits made to their bank accounts and frequent huge money transfers via their phones to their colleagues and bosses.

The police employer said that some were operating matatu businesses in breach of rules, receiving money from transporters and operators of breakdown services as well as professional misconduct.

DEVOLVE TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT

NPSC directed that the traffic department be devolved to facilitate swift decision-making by county police commanders.

Fifty of the sacked officers came from Rift Valley, 36 from Coast, 23 from Western and 18 from Nyanza.

“The commission has embarked on vetting traffic officers in Kajiado, Nairobi Central, Eastern and North Eastern regions,” said Mr Kavulundi in a statement.

Another 26 officers were removed from the police service after they declined to be vetted with another officer requesting to retire.

NPSC also rescued the career of six officers among them former Deputy Police Spokesman Masoud Mwinyi after it reviewed an earlier decision that saw them fired.

The vetting has laid bare an elaborate network through which senior traffic police officers demand huge amounts of money from their juniors in the course of their duties.

M-PESA TRANSACTIONS

Most of those found with hefty M-Pesa transactions explained that they were members of merry-go-rounds with their senior counterparts to whom they were sending money.

The findings are in line with the persistent ranking of traffic police as the most corrupt institution whose members regularly use dirty tactics such as extorting money from motorists, especially matatus, to enrich themselves.

Sergeant Boniface Kyalo Muthini was the highlight of the vetting after he was found to have transacted nearly Sh100 million on mobile money platform M-Pesa in four years despite his monthly pay of Sh50,000.

His mobile cash transactions stood at Sh35 million last year, translating to an average of Sh3 million a month or nearly 60 times his monthly salary.

The amount is equivalent to what CEOs of blue-chip companies listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange are paid.

Mr Muthini told the panel that much of his financial dealings were done via M-Pesa and that the millions of shillings he had transacted was spread over many years.

Out of the 904 officers vetted, five were promoted to the rank of Senior Assistant Inspector General, Assistant Inspector General (34), County Police Commander (233) and Senior Superintendent of Police (411).