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How desperate varsity graduate lost Sh300k in search of police job

He withdrew all his savings, sold his car and his bar in April to raise Sh300,000 to bribe a senior police officer to secure him a place in the General Service Unit.

But three months down the line, he is jobless, penniless and risks being homeless if he does not get a source of money soon.

Mr Peter Barasa cannot narrate the story without shedding tears. The 31-year-old wept as he narrated his story to Nairobi News on Wednesday.

For a start, Mr Barasa is not your ordinary ‘hustler’. He holds a degree in Medical Laboratory sciences from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, which he obtained in 2009, and is currently pursuing a Master’s at the same institution.

For the police job, the minimum qualification is a D+ but Mr Barasa had reached a point where joining the police service was the best option.

“There are medical specialisations within the GSU. Once I got in, I would work my way up,” he said.

The push came from his high school friend who is currently a GSU sergeant and who was then operating from Vigilance House.


He encouraged him to join the force and organised the meeting with a man believed to be a senior official, who is also his friend’s boss at Vigilance House.

In a complaint letter that Mr Barasa wrote to the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU), which was received on June 30, he says that the friend introduced him to his boss and they arranged for a meeting three days before the nationwide police recruitment that was held on April 4.

“Having gone through my resume, the boss demanded Sh300,000 to help me secure the job,” wrote Mr Barasa.

He says that when he visited Vigilance House on April 1 to see the boss, he was asked to pay a commitment fee.

They agreed that he would send the amount to his friend at the GSU through M-Pesa, who would then withdraw it and take the cash to his boss at Vigilance House.

M-Pesa statements attached to his letter to the IAU show that between 12:36pm and 12:42pm on April 1, he sent Sh100,000 to the friend.

He then prepared to travel to Bungoma where, according to their initial plan, he would attend the recruitment in Kanduyi knowing that his interest had been taken care of.


“But later the boss informed my friend (name withheld) that there is no need of us travelling as he was to give us our letters at Nairobi,” he states, referring to another man who his friend had also linked to the boss.

He made another payment of Sh100,000 on the day before the recruitment.

On April 6, he says, he sold a bar he had bought five months earlier and a second-hand Mercedes car he had owned for a year. He told Nairobi News that he sold them at throwaway prices.

“I was forced to sell my business at Umoja Tena estate (Beirut Lounge/Bar) and my car to raise money to settle my family,” he states, adding that he set aside Sh40,000 of the money raised to settle his balance with the boss.

He asked the friend to top up the amount with Sh50,000 “which I would pay him once I started earning”.

But to his shock, he was not in the final recruits’ list that was released on May 6. When they inquired about it, he says his friend was transferred from Viligance House to Marsabit.

“His wife and children were thrown out of their house at GSU residence,” he states.

Mr Barasa adds that the transferred officer has received a call from an unknown caller who warned him against reporting the matter to authorities.


“It is at this point that I realised my life is also in danger and visited Buru Buru Police Station where I was accorded assistance and advice,” he states.

He admits that he knew it was an offence for him to give a bribe to be recruited.

However, he says, he had run out of options due to lack of job after taking a course that many organisations can’t hire him because they find cheaper labour among certificate holders.

He is now learning that the person he met at Vigilance House may not have been a police officer after all and he suspects there is a senior officer who is using civilians to con the public.

Mr Barasa hopes that if the story is published, it will deter officers who have threatened the life of other parties in the deal.

But he is still hopeful of getting back the Sh300,000 from his friend, who he believes was duped by his bosses. A father of two, Mr Barasa is now facing a bleak future as he is unable to pay rent and school fees for his children.

Efforts by Nairobi News to get a response on the matter from police spokesman Charles Owino proved futile.