APs FORCED TO DONATE TO MBUGUA
Administration policemen have been ordered to contribute between Sh500 and Sh2,000 "to send off" their long serving boss Kinuthia Mbugua who is planning to make his political debut in the next elections.
The APs were issued with the verbal instructions earlier this week. They were informed that the lowest ranking officers—constables— must each contribute Sh500 bob towards the commandant's farewell party kitty. Different ranks of the service will pay different incremental amounts unto a maximum of Sh2,000 for officers in the top echelons.
The force has around 40000 officers and assuming each of them contributes a minimum of Sh500 Mbugua's farewell party kitty will collect at least Sh20 million! The farewell party is scheduled to be held at the end of the month. "Our adjutant (incharge) has just told that we must contribute the money by the end of the month. Our contributions will then be passed to Mbugua during the farewell party to thank him for a job well done," said an officer at the Embakasi Training School.
The instructions have been criticized by the AP service rank and file who feel they should be let to decide on their own whether or not they want to contribute for the farewell party and even the amount. Several of those already recruited for training also confirmed that they had been told they will be deducted Sh500 each towards the party.
Yesterday, the Administration Police spokesman Masood Munyi confirmed that a farewell party was being organized for the commandant and explained that only senior officers had been asked to contribute some money. "The Commandant is proceeding for retirement from next month and because he has served the administration police well, we have decided to hold a farewell party for him.
"It is being organized by the AP headquarters at Harambee House. Senior officers held a meeting and agreed donate some amount of money. Each officer will donate towards the arrangements. This has always been done whenever a senior officer retires. It is our wish to do that to honour him ," Munyi said.
Munyi said it was 'mischievous' for any of the senior officers to deduct any money from the junior ranks. "Those giving the money are doing so voluntarily. All senior officers attended the meeting and decided they will contribute towards the Commandant's farewell party. The Commandant was not present during this meeting. Contributions by junior officer and other individuals outside the force is voluntary. We are not forcing anyone to contribute. Any person demanding money from junior officers under the guise of organizing a farewell party for the commandant is mischievous," Munyi said.
Kinuthia is due to leave office at the end of this month and has expressed interest in becoming the Nakuru governor. Several senior AP officers have already began lobbying to fill his position which will, under the new Police Act, see the occupant become a deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the administration police. Mbugua's eight year stint as head of the AP has seen the service expand its abilities and reach by introducing several units including marine, rapid response, rural and border patrol.
The service has in recent years also seen its numbers increase from the previous less than 20,000 servicemen to the current 40,000. The service has also upgraded its equipment and recently acquired a Bell helicopter to enhance its work. The Administration Police has had a checkered history since its establishment during colonial rule and has had a history of human rights abuses. Poor pay, archaic housing conditions has made the APs, like the the rest of the police service, susceptible to corruption and crime.
In July 2010, the then Internal Security and Provincial Administration minister, the late George Saitoti announced a 28 per cent pay rise for all junior officers and a 25 per cent increment for senior officers. This means that the most junior officer, a Police Constable is now getting Sh21,000 per month including allowances.