Police caught up in property row over Karen counseling centre

Commission has been sued by firm claiming ownership of property it had leased for project

In Summary

•NPSC in August last year unveiled 20 counsellors.

•The company sued NPSC in March 2021.

A police cap.
A police cap.
Image: FILE

The National Police Service Commission has run into trouble in its attempt to set up a counselling centre for its officers.

The commission has been sued by a firm that has claimed ownership of the property in Karen, Nairobi, that it had leased for the programmes.

NPSC entered into a six-year lease agreement with Swara Hotel Limited from January 1, 2019, for a building and a vacant plot at a monthly rent of Sh1.59 million.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, who has flagged the issue as an impending liability, said a review of documents showed that the lands were registered under Swara Safari Hotel and Amazing Tours Limited.

A law firm, however, issued a notice to the NPSC to vacate the plot on the claim that it was registered to Elicona Holdings Limited.

The company sued NPSC in March 2021 alleging that the commission had trespassed on its property and has refused to vacate.

A ruling was made in August 2021 which ordered that the commission vacate the property and pay Elicona Sh24.7 million for the period, plus the costs of the suit.

“The commission has since appealed. The contingent liability has, however, been disclosed in the financial statements,” Gathungu said in the commissions' audit for the year ending June 30, 2021.

The developments can be argued to be an impediment to the efforts by NPSC to bolster counselling services in the wake of the high incidents of suicide involving police officers.

The National Police Service Commission earlier told a parliamentary committee that it had put over 200 police officers on the suicide watch-list.

Several cases are reported every month, the latest a cop who sprayed his wife with 14 bullets before taking his own life.

NPSC in August last year unveiled 20 counsellors whom the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai said would be instrumental in offering psychosocial support to police officers and their families.

The counselling unit is to assist officers or their families affected by mental health, drug and substance abuse as well as trauma.

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