Majority of the traffic police officers facing the vetting panel in Mombasa cannot express themselves in English.
The vetting commission has also established that several officers have “mpango wa kando” (an affair outside their marriages) arrangements to safeguard properties since they “fear” their spouses.
Led by National Police Service chairman Johnston Kavuludi, the vetting panel is keenly scrutinising the academic and professional qualifications of traffic officers.
Sergeant John Maloba from Diani traffic offices admitted to be having a “mpango wa kando” who owns a charcoal business.
When put to task over the arrangement by commissioner Ronald Musengi, Maloba admitted to fearing his wife “in safeguarding my properties”. He said he got into the arrangement so that he could save through other means.
Officers who underwent vetting also experienced difficulty communicating in English.
Most of the officers used Kiswahili when responding to queries from the vetting panel.
Among those unable to express themselves in English were Quaking Police Constable Pauline Wanjiku from Mtwapa weighbridge, Corporals George Mawai, and Patrick Mwango.
Kavuludi urged them to either join learning institutions because it’s a mandatory for traffic officers to be fluent in English and Kiswahili.
“It’s for your good purpose to fluently speak both languages,” he said. “Either you back to learning institutions or seek alternatives.”
Vetting of traffic officers in Mombasa will continue for one more week before moving to other regions.
The Mombasa-based officers could not explain irregularities in Mpesa transactions, academic qualifications, facilitation fees and loss of firearms that stalked them during the probe.
“I have been a sinner and I am begging for forgiveness from the panel as my brothers and sisters,” one senior officer told the vetting team.
Among those vetted included traffic base commanders Solomon Njuguna (Nyali), Abubakar Bakari (Bamburi) and George Naibei (Kilifi) among others.
The commission ordered Njuguna of Nyali and Bakari of Bamburi to submit documents supporting their explanation regarding the accusations.
A chief inspector in particular, who said he is worth Sh50 million, was hard put to explain how he acquired his wealth and huge M-Pesa transactions in his account.
Chief Inspector Abubakar Bakari’s M-Pesa transactions showed that he was sending huge amounts of money to his seniors in Western Kenya.
Mr Bakari, now the Bamburi Police Base Commander, could not convince the panel led by commission chairperson Johnstone Kavuludi that the money he was sending to his bosses was from a merry-go-round.
The officers were also asked to explain several complaints lodged against them by the public and junior police officers.
Mr Bakari who has been in the force for nine years was asked to explain about other huge amounts of money that was being sent to his M-Pesa account by his juniors.
He explained, unsuccessfully, that some of his seniors opted to use junior colleagues to send the money to his account.
The officers, he claimed, had chosen him to collect the “merry-go-round’’ money.
“We had been having merry-go rounds with 13 base commanders when I was in Webuye. In that chama I have been the collector and that is why I used to send money and receive as well. All those transactions were made during that merry-go round,” Mr Bakari told the panel sitting at the Kenya School of Government in Mombasa.
But when asked to name the officers he was doing the merry-go round with, Mr Bakari could not even name five.
His M-Pesa transactions showed that the officers sent money from Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega. Webuye, Kabras, Nairobi among other areas. Mr Bakari was stationed at Webuye.
During the hearing, Mr Kavuludi warned him three times against being rude and interrupting the commissioners while they were probing him.
And when asked to explain about a telephone number that according to the NPSC has made about 30 M-Pesa transactions, Mr Bakari said “That is not my number, but we use several telephone numbers and we do not remember all of them.”
He was given 14 days to supply the commission with detailed M-Pesa and bank transactions after he said he was a farmer who supplied ‘‘chicks” to some of top hotels at the Coast.
Within those two weeks, Mr Bakari has also been directed to submit to the commission a mobile phone number that he has been transacting with and which he denied knowledge of and to name members of the said merry-go-round.
Mr Bakari, had a difficult time explaining he had sent money 74 times to one Mr Evans Ndetembe, if it was indeed a chama.