Sunday, December 18, 2005


Bribes paid to join Kenya police.

Mini-bus taxi drivers complain that police officers often ask for bribes. Kenya has cancelled the just-ended police recruitment drive, after allegations of widespread corruption. Anti-Corruption Commission head Aaron Ringera said up to 80% of the candidates had either paid bribes or used their connections to get jobs. He said candidates paid up to 100,000 shillings ($1,400) to be recruited into the police force.
Kenya's president was elected in 2002 on a pledge to fight corruption. But western diplomats say President Mwai Kibaki has failed to curb bribery. As well as cancelling the recruitment of the 3,000 new officers, Police Commissioner Maj Gen Hussein Ali also suspended about 60 senior officers involved in the drive. "I will not waver in confronting sleaze or any other crime regardless of who the perpetrators may be," he said. A stream of law enforcement has been polluted at the source Aaron RingeraAnti-Corruption Commission.
A recent report by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International found that the police service is ranked as one of the most corruption institutions in Kenya. Mr Ringera said he had video evidence of senior police officers openly asking for bribes, which he said would be passed on for possible prosecution. He also said officers had toured the recruitment centres, pushing for their friends and relatives to be given jobs. "From the commission's own observations in those centres, the exercise was riddled with outright bribery, canvassing and influence peddling," he said. "Kenyans cannot expect officers recruited in such a manner to uphold any ethics and integrity in their future careers. A stream of law enforcement has been polluted at the source."
George Simiyu, who tried to get a job with the police, told the Daily Nation newspaper that after undergoing physical tests, he and some others were told to wait.
"We were [then] called into the office one at a time where the recruiting officers asked for a 'letter from your parent'. Some produced such 'letters' and received admission letters. The 'letters from parents' were envelopes containing cash. Those of us without any were told: 'Bye'."
The Daily Nation reports that starting salaries for police officers were recently raised by 115%, to 10,000 shillings ($140) a month.


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