Kisumu, Kenya: Stealing from the government
Posted by African Press International on July 1, 2012
Dickens Wasonga reporting for API from Kenya
Detectives in Kisumu East district have launched investigations into a strange incident where thieves mysteriously got access into two government offices at the district headquarters and stole computers and some sensitive files.
By last Friday police officers drawn from the CID in the district had grilled more than eight officers working from the affected departments which included that of the civil registration and youth development who also reportedly recorded their statements with the police over the matter.
Speaking to the press in his office on Friday morning, the Kisumu East district acting DC Mr. Willis Cheboi said they suspect the theft of the government files and the computers was an inside job.
The DC said preliminary reports indicated that an officer attached to one of
the departments was seen at his place of work at around 7.30 pm on the night the incident took place.
” Administration police officers manning the sentry heard a bang at the door leading to the offices and upon inquiring one of the officers established the officer who had also packed his personal car outside the offices was actually the one in there” said the DC.
He was amongst the people the CID picked for questioning on the morning the theft was reported.
But even more curious is the fact that none of the said offices was broken into. The acting DC and the district civil registrar Mr. Hesbon Odhiambo both confirmed to the press that none of the offices had their main doors broken into a fact which indicate the thieves must have had a spare key to gain entry.
The civil registrar said six computers were carted away during the incident together with several birth and death certificates. Three computers belonging
to the department of youth affairs was also stolen.
The thugs also made away with the government seal which is used to process the vital documents. The registrar disclosed that people wishing to apply for the documents will have to wait for unknown period of time before work could resume.
He also said there were fears the thieves could use the stolen seal to process fake certificates to unsuspecting applicants.
While the Administration police who man the sentry where the two offices are located appeared to point accusing fingers on the officers at the department over the theft, those at the departments, including the registrar wondered how thieves could access the offices and steal while the place is under tight security day and night.
” These offices are located just about ten meters way to the sentry where the officers guard.The whole place is usually manned by officers and it is a puzzle to us” He said.
But the acting DC felt something fishy happened.
”Normally before these officers leave, they must deposit their office door keys at the sentry and must sign. On this particular day, the officers from the two departments claims they left their respective keys but never signed. We are wondering why they failed to do so” he said.
It was not immediately clear whether those who recorded their statements with the police on Friday included officers who were at the sentry on the night of the incident.