Millions wasted: Inside the eight-year 'ghost' police station that haunts Kajiado East

A resident of Noonkopir Estate entertains his dogs on the veranda of the abandoned Sameri Park Police Post on 6 July 2024. Inset: An incomplete septic tank and an unmanned reporting desk.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation

The Noonkopir Sameri Park Police Post in Kajiado East Sub County has been a ghost structure for eight years since it was built, with millions pumped from public coffers for a series of renovations amid public outcry.

In 2015, locals pooled resources before getting a boost from the Kajiado East Constituency Fund (N/CDF) to gradually build the post.

The concerted effort was prompted by rampant insecurity incidents, including robbery, rape, violent robbery, cattle rustling and petty crime in the populous middle-class estate.

Since then, however, the police post has remained unmanned as the National Police Service (NPS) refused to deploy police officers, describing the building as "uninhabitable" despite public outcry.

Members of the public take a quick look at the abandoned Noonkopir Sameri Park police post, Kajiado East Sub County, on July 6, 2024.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho| Nation

The police post, which consists of a reporting office, a mini-cell and an independent three-room officers' quarters, has remained conspicuous and uninhabited over the years except during the Covid-19 pandemic when police officers from Kitengela Police Station manned the police post during the day.

In the 2022/2023 financial year, the Kajiado East Constituency N/CDF Committee allocated Sh5 million for the renovation and expansion of the police post.

The post was commissioned on June 18, 2024, by the area MP Kakuta Mai Mai and the sub-county security team led by Isinya Sub County Police Commander Patrick Manyasi graced the occasion. 

Two weeks later, not a single police officer has been deployed. Serious vandalism of the facility has been reported.

An unmanned reporting desk at the Sameri Park police station on July 6, 2024.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation

However, members of the public have condemned the renovation of the post, calling it a classic example of shoddy work and misappropriation of public funds. Noonkopir village elder, Mr Clement Njunge, told Nation.Africa on July 6,  that the cherry-picked briefcase contractor had done a shoddy job, adding insult to injury.

"We expected that the alleged renovation and expansion of the police station would be done in a proper manner and that police officers would be deployed immediately. This is 'theft' of public funds at a time when insecurity is on the rise, especially burglaries and livestock theft in the area," said an agitated Njunge, who called on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate the scam.

Mr Godfrey Wanyama, 54, described the police post as a cash cow for a few individuals at the expense of desperate residents.

"We are now used to government officials and politicians visiting the police post, taking pictures for public relations and deceiving the residents. Our patience is wearing thin," said Mr Wanyama.

The public committee that oversaw the renovation, chairman Mr Paul Nakuo, told Nation.Africa that the purported renovation was a mockery to Noonkopir residents.

"We haven't received the detailed breakdown of quantities (BQs) despite our requests. We've heard that five million has been allocated. We're not happy with the quality of the work," said Mr Nakuo.

An unfinished septic tank with no cover at the Sameri Park police post.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation

A Nation.Africa spot check on Saturday revealed half-baked renovations and purported expansions.

The fresh paint on both the police post and the officers' quarters was peeling, the fascia boards were partially worn and there were ventilation problems in the mini-cell.

The report office had a few chairs in disarray, and an old incident book (OB) lay unattended amidst the dust.

The covers for the septic tanks outside the officers' quarters were missing and some of the gutters had been vandalised. There was no electricity and the officers' toilets were unfinished.

Several goats sought shade on the veranda as there was no perimeter wall. The police post appeared abandoned and neglected in every way.

Management of the project has been delegated to the little-known Pillars of Hope CBO, as indicated by a sign on one of the post walls.

Kajiado East Sub County Police Commander Patrick Manyasi told Nation.Africa that the officers were only there for the night. 

Kajiado East Sub County Police Commander Patrick Manyasi told Nation.Africa that the officers will only be deployed once the post is habitable.

"We are ready to deploy officers once the post is habitable. At the moment, there is neither electricity nor a fully functional toilet for the officers," Mr Manyasi said.

Kajiado East MP Kakuta Mai Mai said he had instructed the contractor to redo the work, stressing that he had observed the poor quality during the commissioning of the project.

"Earlier, I advised the office to ensure that proper wiring is done, garters are installed, the boundary wall is erected and the toilet facility is completed. I'm aware that the contractor is coming back to the site and doing the finishing touches," said Mr Mai Mai via text to Nation.Africa.

Sadly, the residents of Noonkopir will continue to wait while criminals patronise their estates, at least for now.