It’s long overdue but the days of Kenya’s traffic police extracting bribes from motorists might now be numbered. This follows an announcement by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) that they will crackdown on corrupt officers.
Speaking in Kwale County on Monday, Twalib Mbarak, Secretary and Chief Executive of the EACC declared his aim to dismantle corrupt cartels in the traffic department of the National Police Service.
Traffic police corruption crackdown: Mbarak calls of public’s help
“Traffic stops have become unofficial toll stations where police officers openly take bribes”, Mbarak stated. “We want the public to help us in the fight against this vice because we cannot do it alone.”
Mbarak said the EACC will continue with its intelligence gathering operations but needs road-users to blow the whistle on corrupt police officers by taking photographs of them and recording serial numbers of officers in the act of soliciting and taking a bribe.
“If you are in a matatu and a police [officer] requests for bribes from the conductor, take a picture of them and tell them that you have sent it to me. You should not allow matatus to pay any money to police”, Mbarak said.
Senior police officers await their weekly payment
As reported in the Daily Nation Mr Mbarak said the culture of corruption is so ‘entrenched’ in the traffic police that senior officers wait for their share of the bribe money every week.
Junior officers that failed to raise and hand over enough money were transferred to less busy highways.
Traffic Act “catalyst” for more police corruption
One factor highlighted by the EACC boss was the amended Traffic Act which levy’s heavy fines for traffic offenders that have counter-productively resulted in it becoming “a catalyst for more corruption”, said Mbarak.
Twalib Mbarak was responding to concerns raised by matatu and tuk tuk operators who complained at rampant corruption in which corrupt officers demanded Sh100 at each stop along the Likoni-Lungalunga highway.
Kenya Forum readers may also be interested in these postings from the archive:
Police Corruption in Kenya – The More Things Change the More they Stay the Same (13th January, 2023)
DCI Officers Bribery Allegations (27th December, 2022)