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Police service attempts reforms but rights abuses, graft claims continue




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When he presented his last speech before leaving the National Police Service, former Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet said he was satisfied with police reforms and that they were on an “upward trajectory”

Mr Boinnet cited reorganisation and restructuring of the service, which saw the partial merger of the Kenya Police Service and the Administration Police service, elimination of duplication duties, changes in the police curriculum and welfare interventions for police officers, including medical covers and improved housing.

“The National Police Service has already undergone tremendous changes and transformation ranging from infrastructural development to human capital development, tooling, kitting and equipping police officers to respond to modern-day security challenges and addressing the social welfare of officers,” he said.

Laws passed in 2011 contained an ambitious framework for police reform, whose aim was to overhaul the force in order enhance professionalism, efficiency and accountability, and build the public’s trust.

Eight years later, however, the country is still grappling with rogue police officers, human rights violations, corruption, inefficiency and unprofessionalism in the police service.

In addition, a number of police officers still live under squalid conditions despite a budget of more than Sh10.3 billion in the 2015-2018 financial year for new houses for them.


Security analysts, civil society and human rights organisations believe police reforms have failed despite the government’s release of billions of shillings.

Peter Kiama, chairman of the Police Reforms Working Group (PRWG-K), attributed this to selfish interests among those in office in institutions put in place after the Ransley report was adopted by the Cabinet in 2009 and various laws passed.

“There is criminality within the service. The vetting that was put in place to clean the service failed,” said Mr Kiama, who is also the Executive Director of the Independent Medico Legal Unit.

“Oversight bodies have been dominated by people who only care about their own interests and have forgotten about the mandates of the institutions.”

Over the last few months, Kenyans have witnessed the arrest of several police officers after a series of well-staged bank, hotel, highway robberies as well other crimes including possession of ivory.

Three institutions formed as a result of the three laws passed to facilitate the reforms have been faulted by the PRWG-K, the umbrella body of human rights and civil society organisations.

They are the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa), the transformed National Police Service and the National Police Service Commission (NPSC).

During a protest at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat) on Monday, five police officers were captured in a video assaulting a female student.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai immediately condemned the incident and promised to take action against the police officers.


In a statement, the CS said he was concerned by the matte in which they handled the protesters.

“I have observed the events at Jkuat with profound concern. The use of force by police is clearly outlined in the National Police Standing Orders,” the minister noted.

The National Police Service said it had directed the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) to investigate and make recommendation for action against the officers, while Ipoa condemned the brutality.

“Ipoa condemns in the strongest terms possible [the] incident in which members of the National Police Service were caught on camera assaulting students,” stated a statement signed by chairperson Ann Makori.

Power struggles at the authority led to the dismissal in October of Chief Executive Officer Maina Njoroge, barely 15 months after he replaced Joel Mabonga, who retired in 2018.

PRWG-K expressed concerns that the wars within the authority would interfere with its independence and its role in enhancing accountability at the police service.

“The Ipoa board is not providing oversight and support to the secretariat. They have focused on salary reviews and harmonisation with other commissions, bodyguards, and generally matters of their own interest,” Mr Kiama said.

Interventions such vetting, that were put in place to create accountability and separate the wheat from the chaff within the service, have also failed.

Just last week, over 300 police officers whose cases were pending before the NPSC after a vetting that cost over Sh800 million were restored and the commission said they would not be subjected to any disciplinary action.

New chairman Eliud Kinuthia said the commission resolved to disregard recommendations of its predecessor, Johnstone Kavuludi, and that vetting of officers across all ranks had been temporarily suspended.

“We will give them a second opportunity. The recommendations made after their vetting will be treated as null and void,” Mr Kinuthia said.

Reforms aimed at using technology in policing have seen the country invest more than Sh450 billion equipping the police service with modern infrastructure.

They include the Sh15 billion Command, Control and Communication (IC3) Centre, acquisition of 30 Armoured Personnel Carriers in February 2016, as well as acquisition of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle and the police helicopters.

Despite the IC3 centre having a very high capacity for face recognition in Nairobi and Mombasa where they were installed, cases of robberies in the cities remain high.

In addition, incidents of police officers dying as a result of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) have not been tamed by the APCs and MRAPS.

When it comes to poor police-civilian relations, the Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies (CHRIPS) recommended that the Interior ministry and the NPSC consider introducing a long-term change management programme in the NPS.

PRWG-K recommended that the government channel resources to significant courses such as county policing authorities and community policing.

Apart from that, the organization recommended the implementation of Section 116 of the National Police Service Act which gives powers to the Inspector-General of Police to manage police budget and ensure that every police station, post, outposts, unit, unit base and county authority is allocated sufficient funds to finance its activities.



Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’




Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –




Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard




Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

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