Just the other day in Chwele, Bungoma County, one candidate collapsed and died during the police recruitment exercise after failing to complete a race. The recent recruitment was marred by claims of tribal discrimination in Mombasa and Kilifi counties. Nyali MP Hezron Mwiti claimed that so called upcountry youth from his constituency were barred from seeking recruitment in Mombasa in a local daily.

kenya police recruitment
In light of these revelations I sought to find out if there was any truth behind them. How many times has that random Kenyan out there tried to join the force? I asked myself. Photos such as the one below that were circulating online only served to fuel my suspicions that joining the Kenyan police force is no walk in the park.

Photo credit: Victor Ndula
Photo credit: Victor Ndula

I spoke to two gentlemen who opened up candidly about their experiences when they tried joining the “Utumishi kwa Wote” gang. The first gentleman, lets call him *Peter confessed to me how he tried to join the force three times with no success; and when he tried to bribe his way through he was conned after selling a piece of land. Here is a brief snippet of my conversation with him:

Mpasho: Niaje boiz?
Peter: Mzuri sana
Mpasho: Umeshindaje?
Peter: Niko salama.
Mpasho: Nilikuwa naambiwa eti ulikuwa unataka ku-join Kenya police force lakini haikuweza?
Peter: Mimi nimejaribu mara tatu na sijafaulu. Mara ya kwanza na ya pili nikatuma marakatasi na nikaenda kukimbia lakini sikufaulu.
Mpasho: Hmm
Peter: Kwa hii mara ya tatu nikaambwiwa na Uncle yangu kuna vile naweza saidika bila kukimbia kimbia na ….

Listen in to the rest of the shocking conversation here:

The second gentleman, *Kevin was the one most hard hit. He has tried to join the police force a record fives times! From 2009 to 2014. Below is a bit of that difficult conversation:

Mpasho: So Kevin let’s talk matters Kenya police recruitment. Can you tell me how many times you’ve tried to join the Kenya police?
Kevin: 5th times
Mpasho: Many times?
Kevin: Yeah
Mpasho: 5 times?
Kevin: Yeah, 5 times.
Mpasho: Have you been going to the fields running or?
Kevin: Yeah I have been going to the fields, yeah!
Mpasho: Were you trying to go through the backdoor or were you doing what we see Kenyans on TV doing?

Watch the rest of the conversation here;

Kevin then tried to play the game by attempting to bribe his way through the recruitment. He lives with the consequences of his actions up-to this day. Keep it mpasho.co.ke for the second part of this series, the Rotten Police recruitment.

*Names withheld to protect the identities of the interviewees.
Additional reporting: The Standard.