A mention of traffic police department and what comes into one’s mind is one of the most corrupt departments in Kenya currently.
The irony is that the traffic officers whose main role is to ensure order on our roads are fighting to protect their reputation through employing all tactics within their reach to collect bribes from traffic offenders.
This range from weekly collections through respective PSV Saccos, fixing chewing gum on swagger canes, fixing tucking pins on swagger canes, hiding cash on car door locks, dropping cash on the road and inserting cash in driving licenses.
Hardly do these officers inspect vehicles thus exposing commuters to accidents owing to unroadworthy vehicles.
Focusing on Nakuru and Bahati traffic police departments, an investigative carried out by Nakuru Journalists to prove allegations against the traffic police officers revealed the same.The officers never bother to inspect vehicles.
For instance, at Scode area near Maili sita along Nakuru- Nyahururu road, traffic police officers attached to Bahati police stations were filmed shamelessly receiving bribes from a number of motorists.
At some time they sense danger and hurriedly rush to a private car owned by one of them and take off.
Locals here say the officers put informers at strategic points and their only work is to spy on would be enemies.
“The officers put informers at strategic points to spy on enemies” said one of the locals.
A few kilometers from that point towards Nakuru, you come across other officers at Kiti area.
Here the officers without fear are seen stopping on vehicle after the other doing what they know best- receiving bribes. Public service vehicles and lorries transporting building materials are the most targeted vehicles.
Private cars are rarely stopped perhaps confirming why most private vehicles would always have questionable conditions that warrant prosecution in law.
Here the officers have assigned an elderly man the work of spying on their enemies.The elderly man shifts as the police men change location and our informers told us that he does the task for a fee of Kshs 500 daily. The officers report to that route in two shifts – in the morning and in the afternoon.
As this continues several other officer are Manning the Nakuru- Nairobi highway at free area. At the Nakuru- Nairobi highway free area point a single female police officer is witnessed stopping up to four vehicles at ago but she inspects none of them.
Her task is simple; taking what is hidden inside the driving license and flagging asking the driver to leave. At on point she notices nothing hidden inside a driving license and refuses to hand back the document to a lorry driver until he parts with something small. The officer smiles and lets the driver proceed with his journey.
Such is the level of impunity on our roads and players in the transport industry have called for stringent measures to curb corruption among the traffic police officers.
Bahati Mp Kimani Ngunjiri says that within his constituency traffic police officers from Subukia, Bahati and Nakuru town struggle to make cash out of transporters along Nakuru- Nyahururu highway.
He said that it was the high time the interior cabinet secretary towed the line and took action against corrupt traffic police officers.
PHOTO/Citizen:Traffic Police officers on duty.