NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Sixty-three senior police officers, including a police spokesman, have been fired for “corruption and integrity issues,” an official of the Kenyan National Police Service Commission said Thursday.
The investigations have revealed a hierarchy in the way proceeds of corruption are shared among police officers, Johnstone Kavuludi said.
“During the vetting, investigations showed some of them were involved in corruption and were even doing it through their juniors,” he said, “Through scrutiny of their accounts, the commission was able to establish that junior officers working in the traffic department regularly transferred fixed amounts of money to some of their seniors, suggesting that they had been given targets.”
Kenya is vetting all its police officers as part of a reform package the government agreed to undertake after adopting a new constitution in 2010. The aim is to prevent a repeat of the postelection violence that was seen in the country following a flawed presidential poll in December 2007 that left more than 1,000 people dead. Kenya’s police force was accused of taking sides during the violence.
The police force is the most corrupt institution in Kenya, according to global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International.
The vetting of some 71,000 officers, which started in December 2013, has been criticized for overlooking human rights records of senior police officers who have been accused of sanctioning and participating in extra-judicial killings of suspects. A U.N. expert on extra-judicial, summary and arbitrary killings said Kenyan police are a law unto themselves and carry out carefully planned, systematic and widespread killings of individuals. An investigation by The Associated Press last year found that many ordinary officers on the beat have turned into killers – doling out death to terror suspects, civilians and even children.
The vetting panel has faced several death threats including a severed head being sent to their office with a note warning them to tread carefully.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.