Jane Asimizi, a police officer who — last Wednesday — publicly protested against being “deployed to areas where making money is hard”, has been sent on compulsory leave.
Police Service Commission chairperson, Eliud Kinuthia, said that Asimizi was sent on leave to “cool off” as investigations into her alleged indiscipline continues.
“We have ordered that she be subjected to psychiatric examination. We want to ascertain that she is of sound mind. What she said on tape last week is not typical of a normal law enforcement officer,” Kinuthia said while addressing journalists in Mombasa on Tuesday.
On Friday, October 18, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai ordered Asimizi’s hospitalisation after her “complaint video” went viral.
The cop said she had been assigned the lucrative task of manning an exam container in Kakamega, but was withdrawn from that duty four days later because “my bosses thought I was making a lot of money from the posting”.
Asimizi was captured on video ranting about unfair treatment by her bosses, alleging she has often been condemned to “non-lucrative tasks” because she is a native of Turkana County, an area, she said, is inhabited by a “minority group in Kenya”.
Asimizi also alleged that she was withdrawn from the container-guarding duty because — due to her financial status — she could not “bribe her superiors to let her continue with the lucrative task”.
“I have had enough of being frustrated and intimidated,” she said in her rant captured on tape Wednesday.
“Why can’t my bosses treat me fairly?” she posed.
“I have now resorted to speak out, even if it would cost me my job. All along, they post me to areas where I cannot easily access money. Why?”
“Is it because I am from the Turkana ethnic community, which is a minority group in Kenya? I am in Kakamega because I am married to a man from the Luhya ethnic group,” said Asimizi.
“I am fed up, and I want my gripe to reach my bosses in Nairobi, and [even the Interior minister] Fred Matiang’i. For the lengthy period that I have served in the disciplined forces, I have never breached any regulations. My seniors can bear me witness.
“With such unappealing postings, I am only left with my salary to survive on. Special tasks such as exam container-guarding duties often allows a cop to make extra money,” she said.
Asimizi’s rant reached IG Mutyambai, who told K24 Digital that it was unprofessional of the cop to publicly air her work-related frustrations.
“The woman’s frustrations ought to have been channeled through private avenues. As a police officer, she shouldn’t have gone public to express her anger. I have given instructions for the officer to be taken to hospital [for mental examination]. We are managing the matter without raising hullabaloo about it,” Mutyambai told K24 Digital on Friday, October 18.
Asimizi’s direct boss, Leonard Omollo, who is the Western Kenya deputy regional police commander, told K24 Digital that the AP officer lied about being originally assigned to man the exam container.
“I would like to state categorically that nobody deployed that [police] officer to guard that container,” said Omollo.
“That officer was going on escort work, and she wasn’t assigned the duty of guarding that [exam] container. We have an operation order that shows where an officer has been deployed and what he or she should do [at his or her work station]. Officers deployed to guard containers were made aware of the postings a long time ago.
“In the case of this officer [Asimizi], I would say, again, that nobody deployed her there. I am treating her case as one of indiscipline. As a service, we have procedures of handling such cases. I won’t allow anyone to come up with a fabricated claim that I deployed a cop somewhere because I wanted money. I do not do that, and that won’t happen [under my watch],” said Omollo.