Iteere Disowns Fake Officer, Warns Family

Posted: January 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Immediate former Commissioner of Police Mathew Iteere has distanced himself from the saga surrounding the man, who posed as a senior police officer in Rift Valley province. He said he was ready to testify before a team established to investigate the activities of Joshua Waiganjo who was released yesterday on a Sh4 million cash bail by a Naivasha court. He faced four counts of robbery with violence, three of impersonating a police officer, three of having assorted police uniforms and two of wearing gazetted police uniforms.

He denied the charges. Iteere said claims by the suspect’s father Ephrahim Waiganjo, had damagedhis reputation, adding he was willing to submit himself to the investigation for the truth to be known. The elder Waiganjo said Iteere had elevated his son to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Kenya Police Reservists in the province, and that a homecoming party was marked to celebrate the “promotion”. “My attention has been drawn by the statement attributed to the father of Joshua K Waiganjo who has been masquerading as a senior police officer in Rift Valley province to the effect that I promoted, transferred and appointed him to various positions within the police service.

“This statement has caused me grave anguish and embarrassment as I have never known of the existence of the said Joshua K Waiganjo prior to the Baragoi massacre,” said Iteere in a statement. He challenged the Waiganjo family to produce documents to back their claims. “If it is indeed true that I promoted, appointed or transferred him as alleged, then where are the letters or signals to that effect?” posed Iteere. Waiganjo was arrested last week following internal investigations ordered by Iteere before he retired.

The probe was initiated after the botched Baragoi security operation that left 46 police officers dead last November. He was allegedly part of the team deployed to recover stolen cattle in the area. The unfolding saga has led to the interdiction of Rift Valley Provincial Police Officer (PPO) John M’Mbijiwe, Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) Commandant Michael Remi Ngugi and Njoro Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) Peter Njeru Nthiga.

The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) sent the trio packing to pave way for investigations ordered by President Kibaki. M’Mbijiwe was said to be close to Waiganjo with the latter accompanying the PPO to Baragoi. Iteere said that he had no role in the Waiganjo saga, saying he learnt of the suspect after the investigation report showing he had accompanied some members of the Rift Valley Provincial Security and Intelligence Committee to Baragoi, was forward to his desk.

“I consequently instructed the Director of Criminal Investigation Department to thoroughly investigate the circumstances and in what capacity he had accompanied the team,” he said. The former Commissioner of Police explained that Urban KPR ceased to exist in 2004 when his predecessor Hussein Mohamed Ali disbanded it, and that for the period he was in office, he never appointed or reinstated any reservist. “I do not know the said Waiganjo and I have never met him in my entire life. I have never appointed reinstated, promoted or transferred the said Waiganjo as a KPR,” said Iteere. The NPSC formed a team to investigate the saga.

Commission chairman Johnston Kavuludi gave the committee 21 days to complete the probe that will seek to establish inter alia whether Waiganjo was a police officer, a police reservist and who recruited him, the circumstances under which he operated as a police officer and who gave him orders and instructions. The team will comprise NPSC members Shadrack Muiu and Mary Owuor, and Inspector General David Kimaiyo who will nominate a representative. Other members of the team include those from Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Public Service Commission, Law Society of Kenya and representative from the Attorney General’s office.

The team will be assisted by a joint secretariat of Kenya and Administration Police Services, and a counsel from the Attorney General’s office who will prepare briefs and lead interviews of those appearing before the committee. The team will also seek to know what facilities including transport and equipment Waiganjo was issued with, whether this is an isolated case or there are other persons impersonating as officers, to what extent was he privy to confidential information, if there is a relationship between him and the Baragoi incident and other incidents of serious crimes within the country and other related purposes.

“We have put in place mechanisms to ensure that we get to the bottom of the matter such that proper investigations are conducted to reveal exactly how the lapse occurred and who within the police service is guilty of any act of omission or commission,” said Kavuludi. Waiganjo is alleged to have sacked and abused junior officers, and even attended top security meetings on various occasions over a period of five years he posed as Rift Valley Deputy PPO. “I am aware that the government has appointed a commission to inquire into the conduct and activities of the said suspect and the involvement of any police officer (s). In this respect, I am ready and willing to submit myself to the investigation in order for the truth to be known,” said Iteere.


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