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Vexed Police officers oppose severe salary cuts

Hundreds of police officers who had gone for further studies and were rewarded with better pay have suffered a blow after a plan to reduce their salaries was finally implemented.

It means some of the affected officers, mostly those who had taken loans and mortgages after getting enhanced salaries, have been left with negative balances on their payslips.

NEGATIVE PAY

Others who had purchased properties, taken their children to better schools or even built new houses away from the staff quarters have been devastated by the directive, lamenting it will adversely affect their lifestyles.

Some March payslips seen by the Sunday Nation recorded zero, Sh10, Sh100 and negative balances.

“How will some of us who had moved to rental houses survive?” one of the affected police officers asked.

DISABLED

The NPS, in a letter to Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet, also directed that officers maimed or disabled in the line of duty start paying taxes from this month.

Such officers were exempted from taxes.

The letter also called for the scrapping of special allowances paid to graduate constables.

CERTIFICATES

A letter from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, seen by the Sunday Nation, also directed regional commanders to effect the changes immediately.

It, however, noted that the changes be done after the affected officers have been notified.

“Inform officers of other ranks who have developed themselves academically and acquired certificates, which they subsequently used for salary adjustments that they will with immediate effect revert to their original pay and designations,” reads the letter signed by Mr Wanderi Mwangi on behalf of the Director of Criminal Investigations.

VARIATIONS

The readjustments in pay, says the letter, would also affect officers whose status changed due to disability and has been enjoying tax exemptions.

“You are requested to implement the decision by stopping additional payment and/or re-versing the tax exemption with immediate effect,” NPS chief executive Joseph Onyango said in a March 7 letter to Mr Boinnet.

The letter added that any variations should be effected procedurally after the cases had been determined by the commission.

CYBERCRIME

The move has angered officers who have been struggling to advance their education.

“Our employer has been asking us to enroll in universities because of emerging challenges like terrorism and cybercrime. We have done that by taking loans and it would be unfair to harmonise pay,” an officer said.

Traditionally, police officers injured in the line of duty are retired on medical grounds or assigned lighter duties.