By: DANIEL TSUMA NYASSY
Fear has gripped the Mombasa police traffic department following a requirement for officers to submit details of their M-Pesa accounts during vetting.
Mr Murshid Mohamed, a commissioner at the National Police Service Commission said the officers would also be required to provide details of their bank accounts and those of their spouses and children under 18.
Mr Mohammed, who is in charge of Coast and lower Eastern, said the commission would be investigating accounts of 2012 and 2013, but may ask for more.
The commissioner spoke during sensitisation of officers at the School of Government Training in Mombasa on Tuesday.
Mr Mohamed also met civil society groups at the Anglican Church of Kenya in Tononoka and briefed them about the vetting.
The plan to investigate accounts of the officers has caused panic among them. Some even called the Nation to express their fears.
“Wakifanya hivyo, watatupata (If they do that, we will be caught)”, said an officer. The officer told the Nation of how junior officers at roadblocks or on patrol send money collected as bribes to their bosses through M-Pesa.
Sources said most of the officers would lose their jobs if their M-Pesa and bank accounts are probed and warned that there will be crisis in the department.
Mr Murshid said there are about 2,500 traffic officers from the position of OCS and above.
Traffic police officers are perceived to be the most corrupt in the country.
Said Mr Mohamed: “It is not going to be business as usual. We must reform the police service and if any of them moves to court, they will have taken themselves to the frying pan because the cases are finally reverted to the commission,” he said.
Mr Mohamed said none of the cases taken to court in the first phase of the vetting had been found to have merit.
“This commission scored 100 per cent success in the cases that officers took to court. We are the investigating agency and our findings are usually water-tight and credible,” he said.
Mr Mohamed said about 500 officers are targeted for vetting in Mombasa and 250 each in Kwale and Kilifi counties.
Officers will fill in integrity forms and submit them to the commission. Those found to have questionable responses will be called for interviews before a panel in two months.
Those who will fail to convince the commission will be dismissed.
However, the officers are also free to choose not to be interviewed, but must quit voluntarily.
Other areas that will be scrutinised are entry qualification, professional conduct and discipline.
Their promotions, integrity, conformity with Public Officers Ethics Act as well as human rights issues will also be investigated.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION