Two days after taking over as inspector General of police, police boss Japhet Koome says he is not happy with the rate of corruption at road checks.
He on November 13 ordered that all those on road checks wear service numerals and name tags.
Koome told commanders of various regions to keep enhancing their supervisory roles and encourage officers on their work.
“All those on road checks must have service numerals and name tags. Officers themselves are unhappy with the corruption taking place at road checks,” he said in an internal memo.
He said he was confident the commanders will act to address the menace.
Koome made the remarks two days after taking over as the IG, becoming the fourth commander of the service.
He is not new to the happenings in the service having worked therein for more than 30 years.
Koome was until his appointment as the IG the commandant of NPS Training College in Kiganjo.
He had been a principal assistant to the Deputy Inspector General of Kenya police and therefore he understands the operations of the police well.
Police officers have in the past been warned against erecting roadblocks anywhere without official approval.
They were told no vehicle should be detained on the road for long hours without explanation.
Officials say there is the continued erection of roadblocks on the highways without approval despite an earlier directive to the contrary.
Every commander was ordered to ensure no roadblocks, static traffic checks, detaining vehicles along the road for long hours and no taking bribes from motorists within their jurisdictions.
The commanders were told to ensure close and maximum supervision on traffic management and the concerned base commanders.
An earlier directive said any approved roadblock must be staffed by a multi-agency team and have an approved purpose, not personal enrichment.
This followed public complaints that the barriers are still being erected despite an earlier order to remove them.
Many motorists, however, complained they were being harassed and extorted.
There have been viral videos online showing police officers taking bribes at the roadblocks.
“Checkpoints and roadblocks on highways are only to be mounted with the express authority of regional-formation commanders and must be justified and rationalised,” Deputy Inspector General of Kenya Police Edward Mbugua said in a past directive.
For instance, there is a permanent roadblock on the major Nairobi-Garissa highway and the Nairobi-Marsabit Road to stop drugs and human trafficking.
Similar barriers are staffed by multi-agency teams.
Despite an earlier order that fixed roadblocks be abolished and replaced by mobile ones, it emerged dozens of officers were still using the barricades for personal enrichment.
For instance, in Rift Valley with the busiest international highway connecting Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and DRC —traffic personnel are still setting up barriers despite the orders.