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Maraga report: The selling of police employment for Sh600,000

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Maraga report: The selling of police employment for Sh600,000.

According to the Maraga task force report, senior police officials charge as much as Sh600,000 for important positions, including recruitment slots.

According to the article, there is widespread corruption in the police force, and whenever there is a recruiting drive, the senior brass splits up the spots among themselves and sells them to the highest bidders, turning the actual exercise into a farce.

The 20-member group looked at ways to improve the terms and conditions of employment as well as other changes for National Police Service, Prisons, and National Youth Service personnel.

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President William Ruto established it in December 2022.

According to the report obtained by the Star, not much progress has been made in the past 15 years toward police reforms, despite significant investments. This is because deeply ingrained practices such as the use of brute force, election-related side-taking, impunity, and a condescending attitude among senior officers toward junior officers still exist.

In an attempt to reform the police force, a civilian oversight body has been established, numerous laws and regulations have been passed, and the Constitution has been altered.

The report states that none of these have produced the expected outcome and that, instead, the National Police Service is consistently rated as the most corrupt organization in the nation without facing any consequences. This has led to a climate of impunity that has permeated the other uniformed services.

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A prime example of this impunity is the failure of community policing to gain traction.

According to the research, although the Constitution calls for transparent, competitive, and merit-based police recruiting to produce the most competent, professional, and ethnically diverse workforce, the existing process is rife with nepotism, tribalism, favoritism, and outright slot buying.

“The task force heard reports of widespread corruption, political influence peddling during police recruitment exercises, cronyism, nepotism, favoritism, and cronyism from literally all 47 counties.”

Additionally, those employed by this system continue to serve the persons who forced them into the workforce, while those who were given opportunities solely on the basis of their merit are pressured into continuing to do favors for their employers and pay them bribes.

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According to further reports, spots were being offered for as much as Sh600,000, if not more. According to the paper, “those who join the NPS through political influence maintain their position by staying faithful to people ‘they know,” while those who are chosen on the basis of merit “grease” their positions by doing favors for police chiefs.

According to the research, widespread corruption affects other facets of the service’s operations as well since “promotions, transfers, deployments, and procurement are riddled with corruption and favoritism,” which lowers police officer morale.

“… rather than merit, the Police Service’s hiring practices are heavily influenced by political influence, cronyism, nepotism, and corruption. In any recruitment procedure, the political elite is allotted a large portion of the seats, leaving very few for merit selection.”

“Traffic police officers owning public service vehicles and motor vehicle breakdown services, alcohol outlets, gambling outlets, and generally engaging in business and activities that compromise their impartiality and professionalism” are only a few examples of the deep-rooted conflicts of interest in the service.

“The majority of stakeholders’ responses and practically every meeting the task force had in the 47 counties mentioned the Traffic Department of NPS specifically. The research states that police roadblocks were unanimously characterized as corruption toll booths, where the “loot” gathered was distributed to the top echelons of the police command hierarchy.

The team suggested that instead of using roadblocks and traffic cops to enforce the law, traffic police should be reorganized into a new organization with leaner staff, undergo training, and employ technology.

“To monitor and manage traffic flow in the nation, the task force advises reforming the current Traffic Police Unit into a new Traffic Management Unit that is well-trained, smaller in personnel, and mostly relying on technology.”

The technology would be used to identify offenses on the road and make the associated penalty cashless.

In the meanwhile, the panel suggested amending Section 65 of the NPS Act to remove police roadblocks and install mobile patrol units in their stead within six months.

Reevaluating the senior police chiefs’ qualifications should be the first step in resolving the issues raised by the Maraga task team, which essentially suggests screening the suspects to eliminate them.

It suggests that instead of being nominated by the President, police chiefs, such as the Inspector General, should be hired through a competitive process.

“All positions, particularly those in the NPS leadership cadres, should be filled through competition, in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Constitution, as is the case with all recruitment into other government institutions.” Unfortunately, though, that is not what the NPS is showing.”

According to the report, the NPS Act’s requirements for an open, transparent, and competitive hiring process for the Inspector General and Deputy Inspectors General were eliminated by the Security Laws Act of 2014.

To address this issue and determine whether the current NPS top leadership possesses the skills, character, and background necessary to spearhead reforms and realize the service’s vision, it suggests that all officers at the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police and higher undergo new screening by an impartial panel that the President appoints.






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