WANTED: Police probe 200 over
D MOMANYI and ANTHONY KAGIRI
14. Feb 2008
NAIROBI, February 14 - More than 200 prominent personalities
believed to have funded or instigated the post-election violence
in Kenya are under investigation, police said Thursday.
They include politicians, church leaders and business people said
to have either sponsored or incited people to commit atrocities
that have left nearly 1,000 people dead and over 500,000 others
Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe said some of those under
investigation had been summoned to write statements, while others
were still at large.
“It is a broad-based investigation, which is aimed at bringing
justice in the country. Our officers have managed to catch up with
some of them but others are still on the run,” he said.
The police have already released photographs of more than 100 of
those said to be at large and offered handsome rewards to anyone
with credible information on their whereabouts.
Some of the photographs were released a week ago while others were
released late Thursday.
“We are appealing for assistance from the public. Any information
will be treated with utmost confidence,” he said.
He said detectives were documenting evidence against the suspects,
who will be arraigned in court as soon as the probes are completed.
Kiraithe did not reveal the names of the prominent personalities
He said photographs published in the local media a week ago had
yielded fruit and led to the arrest of more than fifty other
National Youth Service
Kiraithe also announced plans by the Kenya Police to absorb more
than 5000 personnel from the National Youth Service (NYS) to boost
its capacity to contain rising crime in the country.
The Spokesman said the move is aimed at re-enforcing the already
overstretched capacity of the police force, which is grappling to
contain the violence sparked by the outcome of the Presidential
The violence that broke out soon after President Mwai Kibaki was
sworn-in has claimed the lives of nearly 1,000 people and
displaced more than 500,000 others.
Police were unable to contain the riots in various parts of the
country, particularly in Rift Valley province, where houses were
torched and people slashed as officers watched helplessly.
Even police stations and administrations camps were burnt to the
ground and policemen slaughtered, while others had their guns
taken away by mobs.
One such instance was reported in Kipkelion district where mobs
stormed an Administration Police (AP) camp, killed an officer and
slashed his colleague before they proceeded to rob 12 rifles from
“It was the worst incident reported during these trying moments.
It was so unfortunate and a big loss to the force,” Kiraithe said.
On Thursday, he said those absorbed from the NYS would be required
to undertake basic instruction at the Kenya Police Training
College in Kiganjo.
“The recruitment from the NYS is intended to give the police force
an opportunity to recruit candidates who are already trained and
have a tested discipline record,” he told journalists.
However, he said, the opportunity would benefit servicemen and
women who have been at NYS for a maximum period of three years.
“The training exposure given to NYS graduands and servicemen will
enable police instructors accord the candidates significant credit
hours, hence a shorter training period,” he asserted.
Though Kiraithe was reluctant to reveal how long NYS personnel
will take at the Police College Kiganjo, independent sources
indicated they would be trained for a period ranging between two
to three months.
The training college is also overpopulated and can only
accommodate a maximum of 1,500 recruits at each single period.
“The college is stretched. The 5,000 NYS personnel they plan to
bring here can only be accommodated in three phases,” a senior
officer at Kiganjo said.
We also learnt that the recruitment exercise for the NYS had
already started at various holding grounds in the country.
A senior officer at the Gilgil base confirmed that they had been
told to start identifying potential candidates to join the force.
“We received communication from Nairobi and the exercise has
already started. We are at the vetting stage,” the officer said.
The move to absorb NYS personnel to the Police force is contained
in the Kenya Police Strategic Plan that was launched in 2004.
It is one of the recommendations that were forwarded by a team of
experts who were asked to draw a comprehensive draft to spearhead
reforms in the force.
“It was recommended that the ratio of police to the population be
increased as a matter of priority. This includes the recruitment
of NYS personnel to serve both in the Administration and police,”
Currently, there are 45,000 police officers deployed in various
parts of the country.
Of these, nearly half of are deployed to guard both local and
foreign VIP’s and other government installations across the