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‘Only 4% of Kenya’s police officers are corrupt’

Chief Justice David Maraga was surprised to be told that only four per cent of police officers are corrupt.

He had expected the figure to be higher and couldn’t hide his surprise.

“I’m surprised to hear it is only four per cent because the notion out there is police are corrupt. Deal with them firmly and fairly. Even in Judiciary we have a very small fraction of (such) officers and we are dealing with them,” he said.

National Police Service Commission chairman Johnston Kavuludi had just informed him they were vetting officers to determine their “suitability and competence,” and the four per cent had failed the test.

Justice Maraga, however, said police reforms should not be a one-off affair but a continuous process.


“The Constitution is dedicated to reform the police. Police are part of the justice chain. They have to investigate and present evidence before court. We have to ensure that police is continuously reformed so as to be able to discharge its mandate,” he added.

The two spoke at the Supreme Court after Mr Joseph Vincent Onyango was sworn in as the chief executive officer of the NPSC.

Justice Maraga told the new CEO that he had a duty to steer police forward.

“The Kenyan people look up to you. Police conduct investigations and when the cases are brought to court, and we acquit, what we hear from the police is that we took the person (suspect) to court and something must have happened. But then you look at each (case) file and you have no evidence at all. What are we supposed to do?” he posed.

Mr Onyango takes over from Mr Ojango Omumu who returned to mainstream civil service.

Mr Kavuludi told the new NPSC secretary to hit the ground running.


“You have come at a very critical time in security of this country. It is a time when a lot of matters will be communicated by the Inspector General for your execution,” he said.

The chairman was also eager to ensure the CEO helps redeem the tainted image of the police.

“You are the first competitively appointed CEO with serious public participation. We can now focus on collaborating with other agencies in criminal justice system where police are seen as the weakest link. Police seem to act in a manner not likely to satisfy public expectations,” Mr Kavuludi added.

He went on: “We continue to vet officers but old habits die hard. With collaboration, we will go very far in reforming the police.”

Mr Onyango took up the challenge saying in doing his job in the best interest of Kenyans, the Commission and the police service.

“I take this office with a lot of enthusiasm. Am looking forward to enhanced cooperation of all agencies involved to ensure the Constitution is upheld,” he said.