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New system to make it possible to pay bail using phone

It will also take away the handling of bail money from police stations to a central server. This will stem loss of money paid by offenders.

Bail money is under the control of officers in charge of police stations who in turn hand it over to the government, has been a source of corruption as a good fraction of it gets lost.

You will soon be paying cash bail at a police station only through your mobile phone courtesy of a soon-to-be launched system.

This will cut the amount of time waiting for their bails to be processed.

It is being tested at Pangani and Shauri Moyo police stations in Nairobi by mobile firm Safaricom.

The police and Safaricom are tight-lipped about this technological development.

However, for the last few days offenders booked at Pangani or Shauri Moyo have been given the option of paying through the system available by dialing *494#.

So far the system allows for payment of three kinds of offences — traffic, petty crimes and serious crimes. It is, however, still unstable and is being fine-tuned.

Starehe police chief Alice Kimeli, who is in charge of Pangani police station, referred us to Safaricom but the mobile phone firm didn’t respond.

Paying bail at police stations is currently a painful process as there are no proper guidelines on which offences one can apply for bail or how much someone is supposed to pay.

Bail amount is a blank book for offences expect traffic offences which has been defined by the National Transport and Safety Authority, specifying how much should be paid for which offence.

In other offences, people are often overcharged for minor offences like loitering when there exists permission under the law to allow petty offenders to pay bail and appear in court.

Unknown to many, all suspects are entitled to bail except in treason, murder and violent robbery.

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