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Flying squad officer demoted for busting KES 70 million heist

10 August 2015, 09:12 Obare Nyamota

Nakuru - Nakuru’s Flying Squad boss, Samuel Barongo Ongote could have been demoted when he was transferred to Loyangalani as the Deputy Criminal Investigations Officer.

Papers filed before court by his Lawyer, Solomon Mburu indicate that while the soft-spoken officer was in charge of a vibrant densely populated County overseeing the fight against highway carjackings, robberies among other highprofiled cases, before being transferred to sparsely populated Marsabit where he will have to report to his immediate local boss.

Mburu said that to date no reasons have been given as to why Barongo was given such a treatment especially after busting a KES 70 million highway robbery involving computers, clothing as well as high-end mobile phones.

Mburu asserted that police officers as well as other members of the disciplined forces were Kenyans too with rights that are also safeguarded by the constitution, saying that that is what prompted Barongo to petition the High Court to protect them since he had been punished for doing his work.

“You cannot victimize a police officer for doing his job. The Director of Criminal Investigation will be at liberty to provide proof of all processes that were followed to arrive at the transfer decision in the middle of a high profile investigation,” he said.

The Flying Squad boss maintained that he was transferred following his involvement in the investigations into the shocking incident where the goods headed to Eldoret were emptied into a waiting lorry and ferried to an unknown location while its transporters were held hostage at gunpoint before being ‘dumped’ at a private farm with their hands and legs tied with ropes on July 15 at Salgaa area along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway.

Read Also: Traffic police officer remanded for stealing goods-on-transit at gunpoint

Barongo immediately moved to court and obtained leave to file a substantive suit to contest his transfer saying no reasons were given since he had been in Nakuru for only one and a half years.

The detective whose substantive suit is slated for hearing in the new term once the judges’ vacation comes to an end in October wanted the Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro to explain in detail how his (Barongo’s) transfer to Marsabit is not linked to the KES 70 million heist.

In his affidavit, Barongo says his woes began after he linked a traffic officer, Peter Gachie to the robbery with three other Eldoret based police officers being placed under probe after being arrested at Lanet area within Nakuru several kilometres from where the hijacked lorry was found.

“I pursued the suspects to Lanet where I arrested the officers that are now under probe. I believe my transfer is linked to the ongoing investigations since no other reasons have been given since I have been in Nakuru for only one and a half years,” he said.

Barongo moved to court under a certificate of urgency saying the abrupt transfer would greatly jeopardize his impending retirement in the next two years after serving the country ‘gracefully and dilligently’ for 34 years.

“I have a family and such an abrupt transfer goes against my interests especially now that am preparing the leave office with a clean record of having served this country honourably. To transfer me to Marsabit is in bad faith and could disrupt my plans to lead a good life after retirement,” he said.

The Flying Squad chief said that the DG had no powers to transfer him since he was an employee of the National Police Service and that the usual standard practice provides that civil servants serve in a station for at least three years.

Lawyer Mburu asserts that Muhoro overshot his powers when he purported to transfer Barongo since the constitution has vested the role of promoting, demoting, transferring, recruiting and disciplining officers to the National Police Service Commission.

He says that the proper procedure was not followed where a sitting by a panel ought to have been constituted to deliberate on his transfer so as to safeguard his personal interests such as family life. The panel would then give Barongo a chance to respond to the reasons for his transfer.

Barongo said that his transfer signal was also illegal since it was signed by a junior officer in Muhoro’s office, Jecinta Kinyua.

Gachie denied participating in the robbery incident where he reportedly waved down the trailer transporting computers, mobile phones and assorted garments all valued at KES 69 million after which his accomplices forced the trailer’s three occupants to alight and board a waiting saloon at gunpoint.

The police constable denied the charges.

Five other people among them a house caretaker from Syokimau and a Nakuru couple have also been charged with the offence.

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- MyNews24

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