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Daily Nation : February 22nd 2014
2 | National News CORRUPTION | Licences are not checked and vehicles not inspected at roadblocks It’s business as usual for shady officers Video footage exposes policeman openly taking bribes from truck drivers in Kenya and Uganda BY AGGREY MUTAMBO @agmutambo email@example.com V ideo footage shot by NTV Uganda has exposed the full extent of corruption on Ken- yan and Ugandan roads. In some of the incidents filmed in Kenya, police officers manning roadblocks can be seen shamelessly taking bribes, especially from truck drivers. The officers do not even bother to check the mechanical condition of the vehicles or to establish whether their drivers and crews are competent, raising doubts about their intention when stopping motorists. In a series screened this week, re- porters travelled with truck drivers from Kampala to Malaba in Kenya to investigate the extent of bribe-taking, despite insistence from the police that the vice has gone down. The findings betray this claim. One driver who agreed to talk anonymously told NTV Uganda journalists how he budgets for bribes every time he travels on the Northern Corridor. “You spend Sh5,000 between Mal- aba and Mombasa on bribes alone. They ask for Sh50 and Sh100 (notes). They only want money when they stop you woe unto you if you don’t have money,” the driver said. In the footage, the police use flimsy excuses like brakes, muddy wheels or worn out tyres to force a bribe from the long-distance transporters. Drivers who insisted that their ve- hicles were in good condition were delayed until they gave in. In one incident filmed in Kenya, a policeman in a reflective jacket walks to a truck door. The driver sarcastically asks “how much”? The policeman responds with “ten thousand”. The driver laughs and the police- man adds: “Even if you give me one million I don’t mind…” The driver gives him a note and he walks away. In another, a policeman in a blue shirt walks up, exchanges a few words with the driver before taking his “share.” The scenario is the same at almost every roadblock — a police officer starts a conversation that ends up with them receiving a Sh50, a Sh100 or even a Sh500 note. This truck in question was stopped four times during filming but none of the police officers asked for driving licence, insurance or even checked its condition. The only question asked was where the truck was headed and when the driver responded that it was going to Mombasa, the policeman would take his bribe, exclaim and let it pass despite the driver loudly telling the officer that one of his doors was faulty. On the Ugandan side, the situation is the same, with the tactic of obtaining “something small” from drivers Sh50 In your FILE | NATION Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo. Two weeks ago, he told a gathering attended by President Kenyatta that he was determined to reverse the service’s rating on the corruption index. being a little more clandestine. In one incident, two officers, one on a motorbike and another squatting, are caught on camera counting money, perhaps their takings from their dirty deals during the day. This is an indictment of the police, which has since been renamed the Kenya Police Service. Two weeks ago, Inspector-General The minimum amount of money that police officers will accept as a bribe of Police David Kimaiyo told a gathering attended by President Kenyatta that his service was determined to reverse the service’s rating on the corruption index in which it has always run away with the most corrupt agency tag. “You Excellency, every year, the police is ranked the most corrupt institution in the country. We want to make sure that stops. We have put measures to ensure this ends and are promising Kenyans there will be change,” he said. Recently, a visibly furious Kenyatta told a gathering of police chiefs and county administrators that the people at Harambee House have been the reason key services cannot be delivered to the public despite millions of money being pumped in. “When I address the issue of corruption, more necessarily I am not addressing the small officer. They take (bribes) because their seniors take them. And I want us to agree on this, starting with my own officers here: There are officers in there who think the office is for making money,” he said. SATURDAY NATION February 22, 2014 Court issues order on missing man BY NATION CORRESPONDENT A senior and a constable police officer have been ordered to appear before a Mombasa court on Wednesday to explain the whereabouts of a man who went missing since Masjid Musa violence. Inspector Evans Wesonga and Police constable Owino Okuta, who wrote an unsworn statement that Mr Hemed may have escaped from police custody, will appear in court for examination and cross examination. Assistant deputy director of public prosecution Alexander Muteti and Lawyer Eric Eredi for the Attorney-General asked Justice Edward Muriithi to let the two junior officers testify. Dead or alive Justice Muriithi said that there was no positive statement that Mr Hemed may have escaped from police custody as the two officers claimed. The judge said that since the two did not provide sufficient explanation as to whether Mr Hemed is dead or alive; it was premature to call for inquiry as requested by the missing man’s younger brother Mr Masoud Salim Hemed. Lawyer Yusuf Abubakar told the court that more than 12 fundamental rights and freedom of Mr Hemed had been violated. He asked the court to use its discretion to presume that police killed Hemed and order that the officers responsible be charged with his murder and that his family be compensated. The Judge deferred his ruling on whether to declare Mr Hemed dead or alive until the two officers are examined and cross examined by the two petitioners. Tomorrow Ethnicity in the public service T he ethnic composition of the public service has always been a thorny issue, mainly spoken about in low tones in government office corridors. In a bold new report, the Public Service Commission analyses the ethnic layout of the civil service and reveals that three ethnic communities occupy half of the civil service jobs. The data shows that out of the 236,231 employees in the public payroll as at June last year, the three communities account for 115,633 or 49 per cent of the work force. The life of a Kenyan billionaire Where do Kenya’s richest of the rich live and how do they spend their billions? A new report reveals captivating details about the country’s wealthiest individuals and why global luxury brands my soon be rushing to Kenya. Only in the SUNDAY NATION. Don’t miss your copy lifestyle Here today, gone tomorrow One moment, 14-year-old Elvis was quietly doing his homework as the rest of the family went about their evening chores. The next moment, he was an orphan. Read the emotional story of how a gas explosion nearly wiped out an entire family of six. Ministry allocates Sh34b for cancer, diabetes kit BY NATION CORRESPONDENT The Ministry of Health has allocated Sh34 billion for buying medical equipment in 94 public hospitals. Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mr James Macharia yesterday said the machines, which include cancer equipment, will be distributed to two hospitals in each county. “We are aiming at reducing the large number of Kenyans seeking cancer, diabetes and heart treatment in India and South Africa,” he said. Mr Macharia said about 7,000 Kenyans were seeking specialised treatment in the two countries every year and were spending Sh10 billion. “These conditions can be treated locally and that is why we want to equip hospitals and improve provision of healthcare,” he added. In order to address the rising cases in the country, estimated to kill 50 people daily or 27,000 annually, the government has for the first time allocated Sh100 million in the 2014/2015 Financial Year to support cancer centres. The centres provide guid- ance and counselling services to patients and their carers during recovery. Cancer is the third biggest killer disease in Kenya. An estimated 28,500 people are diagnosed with the disease every year. At the same time, Mr Macharia said, the country was grappling with a serious shortage of oncologists (cancer specialists). Kenya has only 12. The Cabinet Secretary said patients required support since treating cancer was expensive. He announced that the Government had agreed to waive Railway tax on cancer medicines. There was uproar last year when KRA seized a consignment of donated drugs. He was speaking during the opening a Sh6 million exercise and therapy studio wing of Faraja Cancer Centre in Parklands, Nairobi, built by Safaricom Foundation.
February 21st 2014
February 23rd 2014