The National Police Service Commission has raised concern over the high number of traffic offenders whose cases are never taken to court, revealing the rot in the traffic department in Central region.
This emerged on Friday during the vetting of traffic officers, who were cited as notorious in colluding with towing businesses, while receiving huge sums of money daily.
The commission’s chairman, Mr Johnston Kavuludi, on Friday said police arrest traffic offenders, take them to their stations but demand bribes instead of pressing charges. “They threaten to level extra charges against the offenders, or the vehicle is found unsuitable to be on the road,” he said.
While withholding the name of a police station under investigation, Mr Kavuludi said out of the 300 traffic offences reported at there, only four were taken to court.
But shifting blame to the public, the chairman accused road users of tempting police officers with bribes. “If someone comes dangling a carrot to one who is in need, the temptation would be for them to take it,” said Mr Kavuludi. He cautioned Kenyans against giving false information incriminating officers during vetting.
“My appeal to the public is honesty and sincerity. The purpose is not to remove an officer from the service but it is to determine their suitability and competence,” he said.
According to the commission, which has been conducting the vetting in camera, traffic officers have changed tack from using mobile money transfers to receive bribes to direct bank deposits to avoid detection.
“There are more officers in Central Kenya who have got greater access to transporters and persons operating breakdown vehicles. We have noticed that the officers receive money on daily,” said Mr Kavuludi.
“This is an inducement, a corrupt activity and unacceptable,” he added.
Commissioner Ronald Musengi accused officers stationed at weighbridges in Naivasha of allowing overloaded trucks to pass the facility. “There is no way you can be banking Sh3,000 every day. We will require that they explain the source of that kind of money,” he said.
The commission barred the media from covering the proceedings citing security concerns ahead of the polls.
He said they have noted fewer transaction on mobile money transfer platforms but money in some officers’ bank accounts suggest they are not doing honest business.
While withholding the name of a police station under investigation, Mr Kavuludi said out of 300 cases of traffic offences reported at the base, only four were taken to court.
He explained that officers were demanding bribes from matatu operators arrested for flouting traffic rules.
NPSC Commissioner Ronald Musengi accused officers operating at weigh bridges in Naivasha of allowing overloaded trucks to pass the facility.
“There is no way you can be banking Sh3,000 every day. We will require that they explain the source of that kind of money,” he noted.
A worrying trend of junior officers in the traffic department sending huge amounts of money to their seniors was also observed in central region.
The commissioner boss noted that they would be demanding to know from the seniors the reason for receiving cash from their juniors.
The commission barred the media from covering the proceedings citing security concerns ahead of the August polls.