Tragedy hit police recruitment exercise in Bungoma county after a 27 year old girl fainted and died immediately after she completed the running test at Pan paper stadium in Webuye sub county.
Jennifer Wamocho who was a student at Kisii University fainted after completing her running and was rushed to Webuye district hospital where she was pronounced dead.
National Police Service Commission chairman Johnstone Kavuludi who visited the area said there were two girls who fainted but one recovered while Wamocho died.
”It was unfortunate that Wamocho who was trying her luck as to be recruited into Administration Police met her death which we can say it’s like an accident, ”said Kavuludi.
The deceased’s uncle Jesse Wasike said the girl had been healthy all through and that she has not been complaining of any illness since her childhood.
Wasike said Wamocho travelled from Kissi early this week to Webuye to try her luck in police recruitment exercise.
Meanwhile, thousands of youths yesterday thronged various recruitment centers seeking to be part of the 10,000 constables to be enlisted in the National Police Service in an exercise largely marked by low turnout and candidates being turned away on flimsy grounds.
Despite the enthusiasm and passionate quest to take up duties to safeguard the nation, majority of those turned away in the initial documents verification stage did not have certificates of good conduct and birth certificates.
In two centers at Nyayo Stadium, the exercise kicked off at 6am to 5pm as per the recruitment guidelines provided by Kavuludi.
The two centres were headed by Kibra Sub County Administration Police Commander Elizabeth Mborogoro and Dagoretti DCIO Joseph Ondoro.
Kenya Police Service spokesperson Charles Owino said the exercise was transparent saying tough measures had been put in place to seal any loophole.
“The exercise has kicked off well across the country as planned. We have taken all necessary measures to address any possible loophole. As a service, besides the physical and requirements, we are also taking care ethnic and gender balance.” Owino said.
The Nubian community who had earlier raised concerns on issues of marginalization were under Kibra Sub County Centre.
Unlike in the past where police officers and potential recruits were arrested over corruption, yesterday, there were no major incidents during the exercise.
However, three people, all young men were arrested at Kasarani Sports Center for submitting forged certificates.
The recruits were expected to have from D Plus and above and a minimum height of 5.5meters for women and 5.8meters for men respectively.
However, for the Directorate of Criminal Investigations which for the first time recruited directly, the academic qualifications was C Plain.
Those who fell short of the mandatory threshold expressed disappointment.
“I have always been passionate on joining the police service. Tomorrow, that dream has been shattered. I did not attain the required height. I feel very sad.” Peter Ondiek said at CID Training School center.
Tens of observers drawn from the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) and other lobby groups were deployed in various centers to monitor the exercise.
In a move to deter recruited officers from exiting from the service immediately after pass out, applicants recruited for the training into the Service shall be bonded to serve in the National Police Service for a minimum period of ten years.
In the past, recruitment exercises have been marred by claims of bribery, favouritism and nepotism.
In Naivasha and Gilgil lack of critical documents locked out tens of youths who had turned up for the ongoing police recruitment.
And as has been the normal in any recruitment for uniformed forces, those with colored teeth were also turned back during the exercise in Kihoto ground.
Majority of them were turned away for failing to have certificates of good conduct, while others failed to attain the minimum height.
Senior Superintendent Anthony Muriithi who was in charge of the exercise praised the high turn-out but was quick to note that many of them did not meet the set standards.
Muriithi identified the good conduct certificate as the main challenge adding that they could not understand why many of the youths did not have the document.
“Most of the youths gunning to get a chance to serve in the police service could not provide some of the vital document and were technically locked out,” he said.
He said 195 men and 66 women tuned up for the recruitment exercise, with almost half of them lacking certificate of good conduct.
“Many of them have applied online and we shall get back to them once their applications are verified by our officers,” said Muriithi.
He however said they were able to get a number of hopefuls from the youths who turned up adding that they would soon be heading to the police college.
A youth who tuned up for the exercise Peter Karia said the minimum height “disadvantaged shorter men adding that this rule should in future be amended.
“I thought height was done away with as requirement, but I was surprised after we were subjected to the same during the recruitment,” he complained.
Karia said he was disqualified as he was “deemed short,” urging the government to reconsider the requirement.