At least 10 senior police officers, out of 30, have opted out of the vetting exercise scheduled to kick off early next week. The officers failed to return their acceptance forms to the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) by the close of the deadline on Tuesday evening, a clear indication they have opted out of the vetting exercise.
Though it was not immediately clear, it seemed the said police officers have either chosen to resign or retire from service, with sources indicating they failed to go through due process, which stipulates that they return their vetting tools to their employer. Sources at NPSC intimated the number of officers opting out of the exercise could rise by December 9 when the exercise is scheduled to kick off since a number of officers are waiting to confirm details of their send-off package.
Officers who opt to retire instead of facing the vetting team will be paid three months’ salary and severance pay which will include 15 days for every year worked. Those who have served for more than 15 years would also be paid an equivalent of one month salary for 15 years. They will also receive accrued leave payments and all other benefits due.
The commission had supplied the 31 officers with a tool to help them establish their suitability for instance, if they had engaged in bribe taking or any other economic crimes in the line of their career. The document also seeks to establish whether the officers had been involved in gross human rights violations, including indiscriminate or extrajudicial executions, torture, illegal or arbitrary arrests and detention.
Also to be looked into by the vetting panel will be the officers’ inventory skills, competence, suitability and integrity. The officers are expected to know their fate by December 23. “The (ten) officers have either opted to retire or resign. Some of them did not even return the documents as required,” said a well placed senior official who is privy to the vetting exercise.
But even with this new development, the public still has until December 7 to submit their views on the 31 officers, before the Commission can start going through memoranda. Already, NPSC has files for all the 31 senior officers and besides the information from the public, it expects more from EACC, IPOA, Prisons and NIS. “So far, the commission has received several compliments, complaints as well as general comments from the public, which will come in handy for this exercise,” said the source.
“The response from the public is big and we are still receiving more views. We will go on with the vetting process regardless of the latest development,” added the source. Similarly, the vetting tool seeks to look into their commitment to duty, including any possible involvement in negligence of duty. The police officers are also expected to provide academic documents as well as a duly completed declaration of income, assets and liabilities and bank statements for the last two years.
They are required to highlight in the document whether they have been named in any State report and if any, whether they were involved in any misconduct, including disobeying an official order from a superior officer, and justify why it happened.
Those who have been disciplined or received a warning letter will also be required to give an explanation to the Commission while those with cases in courts of law or tribunals will be required to provide details. General Service Unit Commandant, William Sayia, Senior deputy Commissioner of Police Francis Okonya, Patrick Ochieng’ who heads the Small Arms and Light Weapons Secretariat, head of the Kenya Police College Peter Kavila, Administration Police Training College (APTC) Commandant Omar Shurie, head of Reforms Jonathan Koskei, former PPOs King’ori Mwangi, Francis Munyambu, Agrey Adoli, Mercus Ochola, Joseph ole Tito, Leo Nyongesa, Joel Kitili, Mwangi Wanjohi, Joseph Henry Ashimala, Beatrice Nduta, Alfred Ombaba, a Mr Chelimo, Julius Kanampiu, Gideon Kimilu and Charlton Mureithi are among the police chiefs to be vetted first.
And on issues of corruption, the tool seeks to establish whether the police officers have ever been involved in activities of illegal groupings, cartels, banned societies and political parties. Similarly, those with money in foreign accounts must give details on the same and should also declare whether they have ever accepted gifts or any other donation in their work and all investments they own.
“The commission has issued a warning to officers who decline to submit to the vetting process by failing to appear before it, that they will treat such officers as having failed the vetting process and shall remove them from service,” the source stated. The officers will also be required to attend sessions with the vetting panels at the Commission’s offices.