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Shame of police renting out their city houses

Police officers are renting to the public houses allocated to them in Nairobi, investigations have shown.

Some of the beneficiaries of the scam in Nairobi involving millions of shillings are a lawmaker and at least three known city businessmen.

The scandal has thrived despite the shortage of houses that has seen some officers being housed in police canteens.

On Wednesday, Suna West Member of Parliament Joseph Obiero Ndiege confirmed that he had secured a house for his family at the Westpark Police Housing Unit.

Resigned from service

The house, number four, had been allocated to a senior police officer who retired last month.

“The senior police, who happens to be my relative, has resigned from the service and the house has been allocated to another officer. I have arranged to shift from the house next week,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner of Police based at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters Joseph Chumo, as the officer in charge of security, was also allocated house number 59, but is said to have rented it out to some of his friends.

When the matter was being investigated, the officer confirmed that the house had been allocated to him, but he was not staying there.

He said he would occasionally meet his friends at the house, but maintained they did not live there.

Just two days after the Nation launched the investigations, Director of Planning at the Police headquarters Silas McOpiyo wrote to warn the commanders about the scam.

“It has come to the attention of this headquarters that some leased residential properties under your jurisdiction are being occupied by unauthorised persons,” the warning read.

Though Mr McOpiyo in the letter claimed his office only facilitated the acquisition and leasing of the houses, investigations showed that officers from his Vigilance House office were also involved in the scam.

A corporal based at Vigilance has rented out three houses in Eastlands.

Another Inspector of Police at the Kenya Police Airwing also rented out the house allocated to him to a construction firm worker.

Commenting on the issue, police spokesperson Zipporah Mboroki said the houses were strictly meant for police officers and those involved in the scam would be dealt with.

“Access to such houses should strictly be regulated. Those people have not been vetted and may pose a serious security threat to the officers,” she said.