Kisumu county is the only region which still has traffic police officers stationed along over 20 roads despite the earlier order by the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai that unnecessary roadblocks and road checks be removed countrywide.
As a result the area transport stakeholders are petitioning the Inspector General why the area police are still seen along the roads extorting money from motorists from morning till evening without any action being taken on them together with riders of motorcycles belonging to Kenya Police which are usually positioned permanently where the said traffic officers extort money.
A security lobby group in Kisumu under the auspice of Kisumu Security Watch are now wondering if Kisumu was exempted from the said order as the area traffic officers are extorting with glee and impunity without caring any law of the land about it.
“The worst are police motorcycle riders who are using the said for extortion purposes chasing every lorry, pickups and canters carrying goods entering or existing Kisumu county,” said Killion Onyango the group’s secretary general.
He lamented that traffic officers are usually stationed after Obambo as you head to Kisumu along Bondo-Kisumu road while another bunch is to be found near Kisian Primary School along Kisian-Kisumu road while on the said road near Kisumu Airport there is always another bunch who works in shifts.
“Along Kondele-Mamboleo road there are always the said traffic officers who are permanently placed there and working in shifts while purely extorting from motorists who carries goods while entering or leaving the county, surely what is happening?” he wondered.
Onyango says that as you head to Kisumu-Ahero road there are over three points the said traffic officers stations themselves with one immediately after Nyamasaria trading centre while another one is at Number Okana with another one near Lela Primary School with an Inspector of Police permanently placed there.
The motor riders numbering three are also accused of extortion as they supplement they gory colleagues as any vehicle that defies their order to stop is usually chased and hefty demands of bribe ranging between Sh5,000 and Sh10,000 is usually demanded.
“You will always find them near Kenya Breweries Company Ltd,along Kisumu-Airport road and after Nyamasaria waiting to chase vehicles which they want to extort from on flimsy grounds failure to which you will be taken in circles within the town,” he further said.
He is also calling on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the National Police Service Commision to investigate the area traffic police officers who have really invested in Kisumu with ill-gotten bribe money from motorists.
“You will find the said traffic police officers on Kisumu Boys’ High school roundabout, near Patel Flats roundabout on Makasembo and near Kondele Police station between 6.30am-8am extorting motorists with impunity under the guise of very flimsy excuses and more often than not they always target women and foreigners whom they perceive to be vulnerable,” Onyango also said.
They are accusing the area county police commander Maweu of doing nothing and seeming to be being held at ransom by the said officers who seem to be giving him proceeds from the said extortions so as for him to continue protecting them.
“Mutyambai had warned the county police commanders to ensure discipline of officers at the roadblocks and warned that they will be held accountable for any misconduct by traffic officers, which goes unpunished under their command,” he wondered.
He however wondered why despite the many concerns they have raised at Nyanza Region Police headquarters nothing has happened saying its either negligence or an intentional under sight by the concerned police officers.
The police boss had said that public safety on the roads remains one of his top objectives.
“This calls for both parties not only to desist from corrupt activities on the road but also to stand against such by reporting them to relevant authorities,” he had said.
However Mutyambai had said that police commanders have the discretion to erect roadblocks anywhere, whenever the need arises.
Efforts top get comment from the area county police commander Maweu were fruitless as he promised to call but he never did.