How Japhet Koome Intends To Fight Corruption in Police Service

November 9, 2022

The Inspector-General of Police nominee Japhet Koome says he is committed to fighting and ending corruption in the service.

Speaking when he faced a Parliamentary Vetting committee on Tuesday, Koome admitted that corruption was tainting the image of Kenyan police.

He acknowledged that bribery was rampant among traffic police officers, something he pledged to address if approved.

“I will not sit here to attempt to defend what is happening on our roads,” he said.

Koome said if approved, he will introduce a reward scheme for members of the public who report cases of police officers receiving bribes.

“I intend to engage service commanders to have a reward mechanism to reward members of the public, any member of the public who captures with evidence an officer receiving a bribe,” he added.

“The other strategy anchored in law is that any barrier along the road must be entered in the registry.”

Japhet Koome also said under his leadership, all officers will wear name tags alongside their identification numbers.

He said this would be one way to ensure discipline and accountability in the police force.

“I expect all police officers to walk around with their name tags. They should be able to be identified by the public,” he said.

Koome also praised the National Police Service saying 98 percent are professional and patriotic.

“I will change the 2 percent. I’ve just come from Saudia Arabia and every country wanted to know how our police officers handled the Dusit terrorist attack because it was done very professionally,” he said.

The IG nominee disclosed that he is worth Sh89.9 million comprising several assets including vehicles, parcels of land and Sacco shares.

I have an account with KCB where my account goes to. Then with police Sacco; I have a capital share of 57,000. I have vehicles. I have two tractors. I have some land in my rural village about 37 acres. I have two plots within the local shopping centre. I have a plot in Nairobi where I live,” he said, adding that his loans total Sh1.1 million.

Koome has served in the National Police Service for 31 years having joined as a constable.

He told the Committee he was a top performer in the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) under the 7-4-2-3 system of education.

Aged 13, he sat the national test at a school in Marsabit and emerged among the best in the district.

“In 1980 I sat for my CPE and passed well. I was the second-best pupil in Marsabit and therefore easily joined a national school: Meru School,” Koome said.

He maintained academic excellence through high school and replicated his performance when he sat the Kenya Certificate of Education (KCE) in 1984.

“I earned a Division 1 and a Distinction 1 in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. This enabled me to join the prestigious Kagumo High School for my A-levels,” he said.

At the time, NPS had a programme, the Police Cadet Cops, where high school students would be taken through police processes at least twice a week for a year.

He was among the students selected from his school at Form Five. A year later, he sat the Kenya Advanced Certificate of Education (KACE) and emerged among the best in his school.

“I was called to the University of Nairobi to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering. But by the time I joined, I was already a police officer,” he said.

After completing his undergraduate in 1990, he joined the police force as a constable and was posted as a patrol officer in Nairobi.

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