•Four graduate constables Evans Muthuuri, Odikara Ruth, David Ochom and Linet Njagi moved to court last year asking for better pay
•Justice Ongaya ruled that the police service conduct and action amounts to denial, violation, infringement and threat to fundamental rights and freedoms of Graduate Constable Officer’s rights
Police officers with university degrees will now be paid equal salary to an Inspector Police in job group J.
This is a major win for the hundreds of police officers who are paid low wages even though they are graduates.
In a ruling yesterday, Labour court judge Byram Ongaya ordered the National Police Service Commission to pay all graduate constables salaries equivalent to the pay of an Inspector of Police Job Group J and as per the prevailing commission policy.
In the case, four graduate constables Evans Muthuuri, Odikara Ruth, David Ochom and Linet Njagi, moved to court last year asking for better pay arguing that they were being discriminated against by the police service.
Justice Ongaya ruled that the police service conduct and action amount to denial, violation, infringement and threat to fundamental rights and freedoms of Graduate Constable Officer’s rights under Articles.
“A declaration that graduate police officers who are university graduates on a salary scale below Job group J and yet similarly qualified as graduate police officers in Job group J are entitled to be emplaced to pay scale of graduate constables equivalent to pay of an Inspector Police Job Group J as per the prevailing NPSC policy as clarified in the press release by the chairperson on march 19 2018,” the court ruled.
However, for any of the officers to get the new salary they must prove that they indeed have the degree certificate and it is authentic.
The officers must present their degree certificates to the Inspector General, the Deputy Inspectors General and the DCI respectively for processing and submission to the NPSC for consideration and authentication.
The court said this will be a motivation of the police officers and also in the interest of the Service that constable acquire further and relevant knowledge.
The judge further noted that the police service had not established any justifiable reason for the discriminate application of emplacement of graduate constables to the preferential pay group.
He said that he had considered the pays slips for officers designated as graduate constables in the case and there were many discrepancies that were never explained.
The payslip of one of the officers for May 2016, designated as a constable, has total earnings of Sh35,310.
However, the same officer gets Sh100,368 the following month where he is designated as a graduate police Constable.
The same officer’s payslip for October 2018 designates him as Graduate Police Constable earning Sh64,350.
“The same unexplained variance in pay for the other pay slips exhibited is apparent and the basis of the pay slips, the court returns that NPSC and IG have continued to emplace officers to pay designation of graduate constables,” the court ruled.
In their defence, the Police Service argued that there is not rank known as graduate constable after the promulgation of the prevailing regulations and career guidelines.
In a press statement in March 19 2018, former NPSC chair Johnstone Kavulundi said that there had emerged a number of irregularities in the payroll whereby some officers without the authorisation of the IG and approval of the commission had been introduced into the payroll as graduate constables.
He said they had also cleansed through an audit to identify, isolate and remove those officers who didn’t qualify for such payments and the commission confirmed that the audit would be fast tracked.