The National Police Service (NPS) commission is once again on the spot over unfair treatment of its officers.
In the latest incident, Lawrence Njue, who served as an Administration Police Constable, details about his suspension from the service and the long wait for justice.
Njue was dismissed in 2016 over what he terms as a sour relationship with his boss and his salary stopped.
Not a man to take blows lying down, Njue sought legal action and won a case against unfair redeployment, dismissal and ill-treatment by his employer in 2019 but a year later he is yet to be reinstated and salary paid as ordered by the court.
Njue through Mukunga, Wathome and Company Advocates had tried to seek help from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions but was informed on September 20, 2018, that the ODPP couldn’t pursue the complaint as its mandate is restricted to criminal matters only.
Similarly, the Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (IPOA) noted that the commission was best placed to handle the complaint.
In a disturbing account of what led to his suspension as shared by human rights activist Boniface Mwangi on Friday, Njue says it all started in 2015 when he was attached as a bodyguard to Dr John Kithaka, CEO of Fountain Enterprise Programme (FEP).
Wambua Kisyungu, then the Security of Government Building (SGB) Deputy Commandant and now current Commandant Vital Installation, wanted him to use his working relationship with FEP CEO to secure a job for his relative.
Njue says this was not possible as FEP didn’t have vacancies at the time.
The failure to secure Kisungu’s relative a job at PEF would later return to haunt him as his boss unleashed all manner of intimidation and frustrations on him.
“He (Kisyungu) described FEP as a big company with many job vacancies. His request did not bear fruit since, during the time I was assigned to the CEO there, no job vacancies were available. Kisyungu took it as a refusal to help, though, and this ended up creating a bad working relationship between us, ” said Njue.
According to Njue, his boss accused him of misusing his firearm in entertainment joints and even conducting robberies in Umoja area and its environs.
“When I requested to know the source of the false allegations, he told me in Kiswahili, ‘lisemwalo lipo na kama halipo limo njiani laja’, Njue narrates.
This, Njue says, went on for months and on April 22, 2016, he alongside three other officers were transferred to hardship areas including North Eastern counties after they were accused of engaging in drug trafficking in Umoja.
“During the FEP Annual General Meeting which was held at Bomas of Kenya, three officers, led by the then Chief Armourer, Chief Inspector (CIP) Francis Kimani, came and told me that the Commandant SGB wanted to see me. I obediently accompanied them, but instead of going to the Commandant’s office, they led me to the office of the Deputy Commandant, where they were given orders to disarm me. They told me to wait for further redeployment since myself, and a group of 3 other officers, were being accused of trafficking drugs within Umoja, he says.
“Within three days, we were all transferred, with me being sent to North Horr in Marsabit County and another officer, by the name of Paul Martin, being transferred to Mandera. The other two, Stephen Njuki and Hillary Koech, were transferred to Baringo and Lamu, respectively.
Njuki and Koech, he details, were later re-deployed back to Nairobi. Paul Martin is currently serving in Gatundu.
Aggrieved by the sudden re-deployment Njue launched a complaint through the office of the then Senior Deputy Assistant Inspector General, Fred Mwei on why he had been associated with Paul Martin an officer he says was a known drug trafficker.
“I also wanted to know how Paul Martin joined the service and why he did not perform duties like other officers deployed to do the same job, yet no action was taken against him, ” he narrates.
This could later lead to him losing his job on claims that he had absconded duty.
But before he was sent packing, he learnt that Martin had been arrested on September 1, 2016, at Mlolongo area alongside three others, Elizabeth Njoki Wanjiru, Ummy Salim and Nassoro Said Salim, over drug trafficking.
The arrests, according to Njue, were nothing but a cover-up as all the four are free and Martin was never dismissed from the service despite evidence implicating him.
“Paul Martin’s house in Umoja was found to contain cocaine valued at over Ksh3 million. The four (4) were charged in Milimani Court in a case file 1477/16, which was consolidated to case file 1381/16. Paul Martin was charged under the name Paul Martin Godfrey Jeff, a name that does not exist in the Kenya National ID registration database. His real name is Kennedy Malube, the name that the Internal Affair Unit and National Police Service have on record.
“On the other part, Elizabeth Njoki Wanjiru was indicated as Elizabeth Njoki Wairimu. Ummy Salim was indicated as being deceased. This shows how Police Officers and Judiciary Officers collude to protect drug traffickers and set them free, thus making it hard to fight drug trafficking, ” he says.
Instead of establishing the validity of Njue’s complaint against Martin, his employer accused him of absenting himself from duty for 97 days.
Njue claims he was charged in absentia as he was never notified of the disciplinary process timelines and venue.
“Under the National Police Service, one is declared a deserter when he absents himself from duty for 10 days. Why did the service decide to do this after 97 days, in my case?” he poses.
Seeing that the internal mechanisms couldn’t help him get justice, Njue says, he moved to court In September 2017.
He won the case in 2019 after the judge found out that his redeployment and suspension for about four years without pay were illegal as they were based on personal differences with his bosses.
He says the National Police Service was unable to prove a case of indiscipline on his part.
Over a year later, Njue says the commission has not reinstated him nor paid him his dues.
Confessing to struggling to fend for himself and family, Njue now calls on the commission to obey court orders and save him from further agony.