The Kenya police personnel currently stands at around about 18,000 officers. The General Service Unit (GSU) has around 5,000 paramilitary personnel. That means a ratio of around 2,000 citizens to 1 police officer. Every year the Kenya police picks a number of able-bodied men and women to join the force.
Normally the recruitment was done in the 286 district centers around the country but after the promulgation of the new constitution it now takes place in each of the 47 counties. However controversy has managed to dog police recruitment year in year out.
As we have all seen on the news, police recruitment is not all about good grades and papers. Factors such as the number of teeth, height, physical fitness, eyesight and stamina are looked into very keenly. And as you know Kenyans love shortcuts. This came into light in the second part of this series where a man was conned 180,000 Kshs trying to bribe his way into the force.
I set out on a journey a few weeks ago to find out if there were policemen who had joined the force through corruption. By a stroke of luck I managed to have a chat with a policeman who confessed to me that he bribed his way into the police force. Here is a brief introduction of how the conversation went:
Mpasho: Habari yako afande (Hello Sir)
Police officer: Mzuri sana (Its all good)
Mpasho: Mimi naitwa Jones. Nilikuwa nataka kujua hii mambo ya police recruitment (My name is Jones. I want to know about police recruitment)
Police officer: Uliza (Ask)
Mpasho: Nimeambiwa na rafiki yako ati wewe ulilipa kuingia kwa police force (Your friend told me that you paid a bribe to join the police officer)
Police officer: Iyo nililipa (That one I paid)
Mpasho: Ulilipa pesa ngapi (How much did you pay?)
Police officer: Wakati wangu nililipa…..
Listen to the rest of the conversation on the sound clip below;