Detectives drawn from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in Machakos County, on Saturday arrested four traffic police officers for mounting a roadblock at Matuu, contrary to orders issued by Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki.
According to reports, the DCI detectives were tipped off by the area residents over the roadblock before proceeding to Matuu-Mwingi road to ambush the traffic officers.
Upon arrival, the detectives arrested the officers who had stationed their vehicle on the side of the road.
One officer who had a motorcycle, however, managed to escape during the arrest.
Police officer disembarking from a vehicle.
The three officers were taken to Matuu Police Station pending arraignment in court.
Kindiki had earlier ordered police officers to remove all roadblocks following concerns that the checkpoints were becoming avenues of corruption. It was noted that police were collecting millions in bribes.
The news elicited reactions from Kenyans online who commended the move by the DCI officers.
“Especially, the traffic officers from Matuu are known for collecting bribes. Their work remains to either collect bribes or threaten to arrest you,” Dennis Kivuva commented
“So police officers can run in fear of being arrested? Its sweet to imagine,” Joseph Munuve said.
“This is something that should continue. This trend of collecting bribes should come to a stop,” read some of the comments online.
According to Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission data, the National Police Service (NPS)sector shows an 82.1 per cent involvement in bribery allegations.
In terms of bribes, police officers accept bribes ranging from Ksh15,396 to Ksh50,000. Further, Kenyans are also required to pay in order to access services including a police abstract which allegedly costs Ksh12,890, those seeking P3 forms are required to pay Ksh15,000 while those trying to recover their impounded goods are instructed to pay Ksh10,570.
Those seeking to have their cases dismissed are allegedly told to pay Ksh10,476 while those in need of police protection are required to pay at least Ksh4,440.
In order to address these concerns, Head of Public Felix Koskei said that urgent policies need to be enforced to combat the issue.
Kenya Police officers during a pass out parade.