A group of youth yesterday held a demonstration in the city calling for postponing of police reforms until after the general election.
They said the advertising, shortlisting and interviewing of applicants for the position of Inspector General of the National Police Service and the two deputies has been overtaken under the law and can only proceed after the coming poll.
The demonstrators, who comprised Youth Congress group associated with Makadara parliamentary aspirant Oscar Igaida, held a procession from Nairobi's Uhuru Park, Kenyatta Avenue, Moi Avenue, City Hall Way and Taifa Road. They handed over a memorandum to police spokesman Eric Kiraithe at Vigilance House before proceeding to the Prime Minister's office and Office of the President where they handed over copies of the memorandum.
They also gave a copies of the memorandum to Parliamentary committee on security chairman Fred Kapondi and his Defence counterpart Adan Keynan, Attorney General Githu Muigai and Chief Justice Willy Mutunga.
In the memorandum, they say there is insufficient time for the new Inspector General and his deputies to acquaint themselves with the security situation in the country especially ahead of the election.
"It is with this justified apprehension that we herein strongly feel and ask that the installation, appointment or otherwise of the Inspector General and the command of the National Police Service be delayed until after the general election scheduled for March 4 and the resulting run off," read the memorandum.
The protesters called for the retention of the status quo in the command hierarchy of the police force. "Changes in the command of the police service by virtue of necessity should therefore be made after the next general election," they added.
The group's memorandum says.
"Any appointment of Inspector General and the two deputies in the absence of the constitution of the National Police Service Commission under Article 246 of the Constitution of Kenya offends the principle and spirit of the law and is practically unworkable," the memorandum says.
They say that the effectual management of the security apparatus and maintenance of continuity rests with the current structure given that the position of Inspector General need not be filled by a career police officer.