Lamu security officers raise concern over delayed funds,housing, leave days

Lamu security officers raise concern over delayed funds,housing, leave days

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Security officers patrolling Lamu. PHOTO:FILE

Lamu, KENYA: Security commanders heading various police divisions in Lamu county are reeling in anger and frustration following the unexplained failure by their bosses to disburse the monthly confidential information funds.

The commanders who spoke to Baraka FM on Saturday on condition of anonymity said the confidential information funds is basically money which they use to buy out information from members of the public and information sources especially concerning sensitive security matters.

The money which is normally disbursed every mid-month ranges between Sh.10,000 to sh.40,000 monthly depending on the officer’s rank.

The officers said they haven’t received a single penny for the last 6 months making their operations a nightmare especially in as far as gathering information on terrorism is concerned.

The security commanders are now calling for the intervention of the Inspector General Joseph Boinett since the situation is making their operations difficult.

The cash is said to have accumulated to more than Sh.150,000.

“That money makes it easy for us to obtain information especially on sensitive issues like terrorism and drugs.We know the government disburses the money but someone somewhere is pocketing that money.We want the IG to intervene so that the money can be released by whoever is holding it or has been eating it,” said an officer.

The complaints are drawn from officers in both Lamu east and west.

Similarly, junior police officers in Lamu East have accused their seniors of denying them leave or off duty to see their families.

The officers said some were being retained in their various workstations for more than a year without being given any off-duty or leave.

“Even when we receive calls that our relatives have died, we aren’t allowed to even go bury them.In extreme cases, we have to bribe our seniors in order to be allowed to go off duty,” said one officer.

They also said their seniors were purposefully risking their lives by assigning a lesser number of officers than expected in terror-prone areas.

“When guarding premises or areas in terror-prone areas like the KENGEN station in Lamu East, we are supposed to be at least six officers but the boss only sends two of us then eats the other allowance meant for the remaining four officers.Such areas are literally crawling with al Shabaab.What can two officers do against of a group of let’s say 20 al Shabaab militants.It’s unfair,” said another officer.

“We have a shortage of housing. Our boss has taken a full block that can house ten or more officers while most of us are congested in the remaining rooms.Why do they treat us like this? We hope the IG reads this and helps us,” said another.

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