A senior police officer was on Thursday tasked to explain how he had acquired massive wealth, manage it and still be able to attend to his duties.
Deputy Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Gideon Kimilu was hard-pressed to explain how he executes his duties and at the same time be a director of three private companies.
Through his wealth declaration, Kimilu had indicated that he owns chunks of properties among them a 100-acre piece of land in Makueni and four plots in Wote.
The vetting panel wanted to know how he acquired his wealth.
Noting that his position as a deputy director of CID and also the head of reforms in the directorate was demanding, he said that he had assigned duties to his workers and family.
“I am not poor but I must say that I am a self made man,” he said.
He explained that his passion to see reforms had kept him focused on his duties.
“I look at reforms in the directorate of Criminal Investigation Department from this perspective; we have a constitution, we have Vision 2030, we have the National Police Act, the Ransley report,” he pointed out.
At one time, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo who openly said he was delighted by his achievement came to his rescue saying that in the National Police Service, there were officers who own a lot of properties without necessarily engaging themselves in corruption related activities.
“I advised him to engage in dairy farming and now you can see how he has succeeded. I challenge other officers to follow this as one can gain wealth without engaging in corruption,” he said.
The National Police Service Commission Chairman hastily corrected an impression that the commission held the same position saying that, “what Commissioner Kimaiyo has said is out of record. The commission is yet to determine whether you rightfully acquired your wealth.”
He however said that, “there was no doubt that you are an investor.”
Through his dairy farming in Makueni, he banks more than Sh100,000 every month.
Kimilu was also asked to highlight reform agendas undertaken by the department to ensure they offer quality service to the public.
Among reforms being undertaken, he revealed a strategic plan to improve how they execute their mandate was being formed and an operational tactical document was also being prepared.
“We are also going to come up with a National Crime Prevention Strategy,” he affirmed. He said all stakeholders will be involved noting that the directorate will only lead the cause.
Kimilu lamented that Administration Police officers lack investigation training and usually tamper with crime scenes as they are the first people to arrive.
He proposed that a course be designed to ensure they are trained on the area.
“They should be trained to ensure evidence is not tampered with,” he said.
Kimilu further expressed optimism that holding of evidence was going to be enhanced once a forensic laboratory whose ground breaking will be within this month is constructed.
During his session, video footage was played showing the 1.2 tonnes of cocaine confiscated by police in Mombasa.
He was challenged to explain measures put to ensure drug cartels were arrested and trade of illegal drugs stopped. Kimilu however said it was a regional problem which can only be dealt at that level.
He noted that there will be a joint training of police officers in the region on the fight against drug trafficking and also said they were proposing to the region’s Attorneys General to formulate a common law on drug trafficking.
“Due to our porous borders, we have to work with other countries in the region. Security has been tightened in all airports as they are very strategic,” he said.
Francis Wanjohi who serves as a Chief Firearm Licensing officer was asked on the procedure used to ensure armed civilians pass the integrity test.
Wanjohi was categorical that he supports arming of civilians and also a section of guards in sensitive areas.
He gave an example of an incident in Western Kenya where unarmed residents were attacked using mere machetes.
“It is foolhardy for a person to cause a big problem to a community… that will help them deal with such case,” he said.
He said the new constitution had however interfered with the procedures formally used by those applying to have a firearm.
Wanjohi was also put to task to explain on the circumstance where he had lost his firearm when serving in Meru.
“It is true I lost a firearm while on duty…I had encountered an armed gang. I had a Ceska pistol and my G3 rifle but it was found later in Meru,” he said.
The panel asked him to explain the standing procedures on the safety and precautions of handling firearms by police officers.
He responded that “a police officer being in charge of a firearm has a duty to prevent it from being lost; it must also be cleaned on a daily basis and also be maintained at the required standard.”
Wanjohi in his current position gives licenses, controls and regulates the use and possession of firearms.
He had also been accused of being arrogant. “I know they say I’m arrogant and they will continue to say so.”
He said that he does not entertain incompetence which could have prompted his accusers to say so.
In a turn of events, a letter by one of the corporals he had once trained in the Recce squad was produced which was requesting the panel to consider him as, “he was one of the most qualified police officers in the country.”
“He is among a few who are good as majorities are masters of impunity, tribalism and nepotism. We need a total overhaul in the National Police Service,” it reads.
The Deputy Commissioner of police and Director of Planning, Development and Research Silas Mc’Opiyo had a hard time trying to show his achievements in the service while serving in the position for more than a decade.
Footage which cast the room in a glum mood was played showing how police officers were living in deplorable situation.
In the footage, three families of police officers could be seen sharing a single room under a tattered roof. It also showed how the service had moved slowly in adopting new technology.
Mc’Opiyo admitted the Police Service still had a shortage of 27,000 houses but noted some progress has been made.
He said a total of 3,080 new houses had been developed and 52 administration blocks, which still is way below what is required.
“People have come up to assist the government and they want to partner in providing the National Police Service with proper housing and I believe the problem will be solved,” he said.
He pointed out that the government was in the process of adopting a public private partnership that will see 50,000 police houses constructed.
The Deputy Commandant Kenya Police College Ochola Marcus Juma, said reforms were being carried out to help police recruits deal with security issues professionally once dispatched to the field.
He expressed agony over the kind of training recruits undergo, saying it does not give them the necessary skills to approach some security challenges.
“Their training is not adequate for ground operations. Instead they should undergo paramilitary training before being assigned to various stations,” he stated.
Under the new curriculum in the training of the police, the Deputy Commandant said officers will gain knowledge on the new security module where community policing has been given priority in a bid to deal with the evolving crime in the country.
Also vetted was Deputy Commissioner of Police Philip Kipchirchir Tuimur.
The exercise will resume Friday with Rodgers Mbithi, Joseph ole Tito, Charlton Muriku, Peter Pamba and Munyambu Musembi being vetted.