Friday, December 16, 2005

Nice act chief, but how about the fat cats of big time sleaze elsewhere?

The Kenya Police is extremely disturbed by reports of fraud and influence peddling observed at the just concluded recruitment exercise.

My briefing to the recruiting officers that was attended by the media was very clear on the need to recruit deserving candidates in a transparent and competitive manner.

At the beginning of the recruitment exercise, I invited the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission to monitor the exercise as part of our collective effort to eradicate corruption.

I wish to commend them for their effort in exposing such incidents regardless of the identity of the perpetrators or their status in society. This is the essence of the rule of law.

The seriousness of the criminal acts reported cast doubt on validity of the recruitment exercise.

Besides being a crime, such acts subvert the trust and confidence of our people and serve to alienate the Police from the citizens at a time when we committed to creating a partnership with the populace in fighting crime.

The issue is not about the number of instances reported, for I will not tolerate even one incident of criminal behavior. There can be no substitute to upholding ethical standards.

Our Government is committed to zero tolerance to corruption. Indeed His Excellency the President has repeatedly made that very clear, as recently as the Jamhuri Day celebrations.

Accordingly, I have today cancelled the results of the entire recruitment exercise.

Additionally, I have with immediate effect, interdicted all officers involved in the recruitment exercise pending the outcome of investigations into their personal conduct during the exercise. Any officer implicated will be dealt with internally and prosecuted before a court of law.

Like I said, there can be tolerance to criminality in the Police or anywhere else. Obviously, those who performed their duties well have nothing to fear.

Even in the absence of immediate tangible evidence, the perception that the conduct of the exercise was not above board is sufficient in my mind to nullify the exercise in its entirety. That is the seriousness with which I take such issues.

Where crimes have been committed, we in the Police cannot resort to denial as this would be tantamount to a cover up.

This would be both illegal and unethical for an institution that seeks to nurture professional values in the performance of our duty.

The Kenya Police will announce the new recruitment dates through the print and electronic media as soon as administrative arrangements are finalized.

Measures to ensure non-recurrence of similar incidents in the next recruitment will be put in place but will not be made public for obvious reasons.

Additionally, the Kenya Police will make available to the public and the media the evidence and findings of our investigations. I expect the investigations to be finalized within the next one month.

Let me assure you that, as the Commissioner of Police, I will not waver in confronting sleaze or any other crime regardless of who the perpetrators may be.

I have been, and will continue to be very firm and resolute on matters of public transparency and accountability in the Kenya Police.

I wish to reiterate here that incidents of this nature, unfortunate as they may be, will not affect our collective commitment to reforming the Police into an effective and responsive institution or roll back the impressive gains we have made so far.

I invite any member of the public with information or complaints regarding this recruitment exercise to come to Police Headquarters or write giving details of acts they witnessed for immediate action.

I also wish to remind members of the public that corruption is a crime and they should also refrain from attempting to have their relatives recruited using unscrupulous methods.

This way, we all contribute towards fighting crime.

Thank You


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