Boniface Mwangi: Al-Shabaab recruits Kenyan graduates, but NPSC frustrates graduate officers

Kenya Police recruits passing out. []

Activist Boniface Mwangi has sparked a fiery debate following reports of slashed pay for graduate police officers.

Mwangi, who runs an NGO, Pawa254, says he is convinced that modern day police despise their colleagues who are graduates, all premised on superiority complex.

“The modern Kenya Police despises educated people,” he says adding “graduate recruits are turned away if they’re deemed over-qualified.”

Last week, about 1, 400 graduate officers threatened to retire from the force after the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) effected a decision to slash their pay by more than half.

The new directive also affected officers with disability who previously, were not subject to taxation but now are.

Before the review by NPSC, a graduate police officer earned a basic salary of Sh36, 000 and police/prison allowance of Sh11, 000.

But in the new structure, a graduate officer will have a basic salary of Sh18, 000 and prison/police allowance of Sh9, 000.

In a Facebook post, Mwangi lamented the review was not by accident; he says it was deliberate.

“The discrimination is deliberate. Senior officers feel threatened by the few hundred policemen and women who are university graduates because it is harder to bully someone who is more educated than you are and can stand their ground.”

In his theory, he states frustrations vented to graduate officers through slashed pay and lack of promotions are a wider ploy to keep them on toes because they could soon take up senior positions within the police service, some of which held by officers who have lower education levels.

“They have every reason to be scared of young, well-educated and ambitious officers,” avers the activist.

He further says more backing has seen to be given to officers with low education qualifications because it is easy to manipulate them than an officer with high education qualifications. “The less-educated a police officer is [he is] more likely to follow illegal orders.”

He also notes that while Al-Shabaab hunts for university graduates, the police service is on the other hand frustrating the few intellects in the force who could deal with the sophisticated terror crime.

“While Al-Shabaab is recruiting sharp Kenyan university students and graduates, we are frustrating the few cops with the intellect to deal with sophisticated crime to quit employment,” he concludes.