Security is a basic human right. This is underlined by Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a member of the family of nations, Kenya subscribes to this Declaration. As a country, we regard security as a matter of national priority.
And we have men and women trained and tasked with the same and the Police Service is part of this noble task of ensuring security. On their website, the Kenyan police tasks outlined include,
Maintenance of law and order;
Preservation of peace;
Protection of life and property;
Prevention and detection of crime;
Apprehension of offenders; and.
Enforcement of all laws and regulations with which it has been charged.
That our Kenyan police give us more to complain about than compliment them about is an open secret; it is a force, oops, service characterized by wanton corruption and brutality is their modus operandi.
Some of the factors blamed for this rot include its beginnings under British colonial rule, poor recruitment policies, corruption, and poor accountability for police actions.
Apart from counting teeth and running (ostensibly referred to as Physical fitness), nada attention is paid to their mental and emotional state. It’s unclear what training they receive once recruited. To my knowledge, the training model and curriculum used to induct fresh recruits has never been made public.
The force is also on record as one of the country’s most corrupt public institutions. Corruption is not simply a problem of the lower ranks. It can be found at all levels of the police organization. And there are reports that those who refuse to pay bribes are often brutalized, maimed, or even killed.
Though armed with the knowledge of this rot, nothing could have prepared Kenyans for the shocking expose by Citizen TV’s Purity Mwambia dubbed Guns galore changed what were mere concerns into full-blown fear
Reforms have proved to be more of glibs than actual transformation. The introduction of the post of Inspector General of Police mandated to oversee the Kenya Police force serve the country and live true to their slogan ‘Utumishi Kwa Wote’ has turned out to be another placid extension of power
And as Kenyans often opine, they asked for reforms and all they got were a change of name from the Police force to Police Service and a new uniform- but rogue elements within the service grow emboldened by the day
So unfazed have they become that they now render services to criminals. The reprobates in the service rent out their uniforms and guns to criminals for robberies and even murder.
What plays out is an unholy trinity of Police officers, criminals, and brokers in an alliance whose manifestations are chilling, stupefying, horrendous, and an affront to law enforcement and the paraphernalia meant to be used strictly to enforce the law
The Citizen Tv’s investigative crew went undercover for a year posing as criminals and were bamboozled at how easy it was to buy handcuffs, and rent police uniforms for as little as Sh1k and a gun for as little as 5k
According to IPOA, at least 625 police officers have reportedly been involved in crime in the last 10 months alone.
They trace a thug known whom they nickname ‘Papa’ and who confesses to having used guns he hires from police to kill at least four people.
Does he get haunted?
“Mimi huwa si shtukangi. Hakuna saa utanipata nikiwa sobber, kila time niko juu ya ma vitu zangu,’ he says further confessing that his mother aided and abetted his delinquency by covering for him right from the time he began stealing in High school
He says slowly he graduated into organized crime and will rent guns from an officer who will give them the gun at night and they were to return it by 4 am with a fee of sh6k
Papa narrates how one day, the rogue cop who used to rent them guns betrayed him and his friends after they tipped him of a sh12 million robbery plan. He says he went to hide in Korogocho after the botched robbery and while hiding, he saw the said cop in the area
“I knew I either had to kill him or get killed.” and kill him they did.
Papa says a pistol costs Sh5k, an AK47 goes for sh10k without a magazine, and that it is easier to get an AK from Administration police than Regular police
Here are some reactions from Kenyans
I once watched brief for a complainant who was robbed at gunpoint at the ATM. When the bank produced the CCTV footage to the investigating officer, the games began. The man in the screen was an officer. The OCS requested the complainant to accept refund.#Gunsgalore is the tip.
— Esther Ang'awa (@AngawaEA) April 18, 2021
The Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Co-ordination of National Government and the Inspector General of National Police have a lot of explaining to do. How can the police who we have entrusted with our safety be selling and hiring firearms to criminals? ^POLSK #GunsGalore
— Nelson Havi (@NelsonHavi) April 18, 2021
Purity Mwambia is a LIVING LEGEND!!
— Hon. Xtian Dela™ (@xtiandela) April 18, 2021
So the Administration Police go home with their guns? This is chilling. Watching #GunsGalore on @citizentvkenya & it’s really sad to learn that the police can hire out guns, uniforms, bullets to criminals for as little as 1000 bob. @PurityMwambia doing a fantastic investigative!
— Ahmed Mohamed ((ASMALi)) (@Asmali77) April 18, 2021