Police officers filmed demanding bribe interdicted
Carol Katana and Sophie Kagia
Two police officers based at the Kwale police station have been interdicted after being captured on camera demanding a bribe from a member of the public.
Kwale County police commander Joseph Nthenge who confirmed the incident said Police Constable Joash Miroro Kebande (255587) and PC Simon Peter Lumiti (111095 ) will appear before National Police Service (NPS) disciplinary committee to defend themselves.
The duo had been deployed at Ng’ombeni roadblock within Matuga sub-county to enforce the cessation of movement in and out of Kwale County but on April 18, they were captured collecting bribes from motorists.
“They were captured bargaining for a bribe and allowing motorists from Mombasa and others from Kwale to cross the border, this is in total contravention of the guidelines issued by the government to curb spread of corona virus and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Act,” he said.
The commander said the officers have been put on half pay with effect from April 20 and their uniforms confiscated pending the outcome of the inquiry by the NPS.
The officer has condemned the act and warn officers against taking bribe to members of the public who violent government directive that action will be taken against them.
“We are also warning members of the public against giving bribes to the police that they will face the law,” said the officer.
This comes just a day after civil society organisations (cso) raised alarm over increased cases of police and prisons officers being arrested in Mombasa and Kilifi counties for breaking the Ministry of Health (MoH) ban on social gathering and closure of bars.
And in what appears as a deliberate attempt to save police from prosecution, the CSOs said officers who have been arrested violating the guidelines, were let off the hook while civilians are being sent into forced quarantine.
Commission for Human Rights and Justice (CHRJ) Executive Director Julius Ogogo claimed that security agents are leading in violation of safety measures to curb spread of Covid-19.
He claimed that there is selective application of the law when it come to security officers’ involved in violation of the MoH guidelines on Covid-19.
“We have seen a big number of police, prison, Members of County Assemblies, Member of Parliament being arrested while taking alcohol in bars while the ban is still in force.
But we have not seen them being taken to court or forced quarantine, the question we are asking is, Why is there double standard?” he posed.
In Mombasa, two prison warders attached to the Shimo la Tewa G.K prison were arrested last week for failing to comply with legal notice No. 50 of the Public Health Act. However, they were never taken to forced quarantine or court.