Explosive Rise In Police Impersonations And Collusion With Criminals

Police in Nairobi are currently holding three law enforcement officers who were arrested for conducting unwarranted arrests in the Central Business District (CBD).

Explosive Rise In Police Impersonations And Collusion With Criminals

The rise in impersonation of Kenya Police officers as well as fake arrests are threatening to further disintegrate the trust of the force amongst the public amidst accusations of police brutality and colluding with criminals.

Police in Nairobi are currently holding three law enforcement officers who were arrested for conducting unwarranted arrests in the Central Business District (CBD).

Police corporal Cliff Ombati stationed at Uhuru Camp, KDF lance corporal Ben Shiundu from the 15 Kenya Army in Mariakani and prison warder Eugene Shivachi based at Wajir GK Prison, were detained after they were found to be conducting illegal arrests.

Records obtained by the Daily Nation on Thursday, April 22 showed that Masaka was a prison warder dismissed from the service on July 24, 2020.

Masaka was attached to the Wajir Prisons before he was dismissed on account of desertion.

“We wish to inform all members of staff to be on the lookout lest they may be conned by the officer,” read a signal that was released after he handed over Government kits.

In a signal from Officer-In-Charge of Wajir Prison to the Commissioner General of Prisons dated October 29, 2020, Masaka was believed to have returned the kits but not his Certificate of Appointment issued to him when he was employed. He is also locked in a criminal case which began before his dismissal.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said the trio made a mockery of crime fighting efforts by various agencies to guarantee public safety and security. They went on an arresting spree targeting boda boda riders, who they arrested on trumped-up charges and demanded bribes from them.

Their plan backfired when they stopped motorcyclist Cyrus Mwangi on City Hall Way and took his motorcycle, reportedly harassed the rider and demanded a bribe of Ksh4,000 to release his motorbike which they had impounded.

A curious bystander is said to have alerted two uniformed police officers who were on patrol in the area about the activities of the three officers. The two police officers then confronted them, resulting in a violent brawl forcing members of the public to join in to help the officers subdue the three suspects.

The latest arrest adds to the rise in fake and former police officers disguising themselves as police officers to harass members of the public and extort them of their valuables.

On March 27, 2020, Gregory Simiyu was arrested while donning Administration Police uniform and conducting self-imposed night patrols in Lang'ata, Nairobi. He was reportedly part of a criminal gang posing as police officers to steal from innocent members of the public.

What stunned the police was how easily he was allowed to operate particularly beyond curfew hours as he was arrested a few minutes past midnight.

“He was obtaining money from members of the public as he harassed them and in some cases he even stole from civilians,” Benjamin Mwanthi the Langata police boss said.

In 2019, Wycliffe Vincent Oduor, who was a suspect in a Ksh72 million heist conducted at a bank in Nairobi West was shot dead by plain-clothes police officers following a robbery reported in Kayole estate. He was not a police officer according to neighbours but had access to police weapons and uniform and part of a three-man gang that escaped the scene on a motorbike.

A majority of officers are usually charged with being in unlawful possession of government stores contrary to Section 324 (2) and also impersonating a police officer which is contrary to Section 101 (1)(b) of the National Police Service Act.

The vice would be vindicated through an exposé by Citizen TV investigative journalist Purity Mwambia who uncovered the tactics police officers implement in hiring out guns, police uniforms, handcuffs and ammunition to criminals and for their own purposes of robberies and even murder.

It drove DCI boss George Kinoti to dismiss the allegations and accuse the station of ruining the reputation of the National Police Service.

Kinoti added the investigative agency has summoned Mwambia and Royal Media Services Director of Innovation and Strategy, Linus Kaikai, to “give more insight” into the report.

The Media Council of Kenya responded to the summoning, stating that it was a threat to media freedoms as well as the constitution of Kenya to summon journalists about their work and forcing them to reveal identities of their sources.

"While the Council recognizes the role of the DCI, it expects that the process is geared towards investigating the matter & not violating freedom of expression, Press Freedom & Access to Information as provided in the Constitution in Articles 33, 34,35 & the Media Council Act 2013,” read the statement.

The force retaliated to the exposé by withdrawing its officers from the gates of Royal Media Services (RMS) on Wednesday, April 21, raising speculations over the safety of the media house, its staff and Mwambia.