Capital FM (Nairobi)

7 October 2012

Kenya: Beef Up Security, NCBDA Demands

Businesses in Nairobi's Central Business District are now demanding heightened security measures following a spate of robberies and killings around the city.

Nairobi Central Business District Association (NCBDA) chairman Timothy Muriuki on Sunday urged Internal Security Minister Katoo Ole Metito to introduce a raft of measures to fortify security in Nairobi which include around the clock police patrols, employment of more security officers and purchase of security gadgets.

Muriuki's statements coming a day after two people were killed in Majengo. The deaths of the two traders sparked riots in the Gikomba area where residents and merchants complained that gangsters were harassing them in broad daylight.

"Nairobi is the capital city, it's the gateway. And therefore you cannot police Nairobi the way you would Kitui or say Malindi," Muriuki said.

He urged the Ministries of Internal Security and that of Nairobi Metropolitan Development to form a Nairobi Metropolitan Police Force.

"The Constitution now enables the Inspector General of Police, yet to be appointed, to form other units that may be required in effecting better security service to citizens," he said.

Muriuki who is also eyeing the Governorship of Nairobi said the current 1,200 police officers charged with ensuring security in Nairobi County are not enough and so he wants that number grown to 4,500 adding that the unit should be well paid with housing and medical insurance taken into account.

"The other day we saw teachers and doctors on the streets and the police cannot go on strike. So there must be somebody who can fight for their salaries."

The NCBDA also wants the number of police stations and posts increased from 65 to 85 with each station equipped with at least three vehicles and 10 motorcycles: "Currently we have 65 police stations and posts. Many of these stations do not even have a single vehicle. How do you expect a police station to operate without a car?"

A situation Muriuki wants Ole Metito to remedy by asking Parliament to allocate funds for the acquisition of 255 vehicles and 850 motorcycles as a matter of urgency: "We have also seen terrorist threats are here with us and we must deal with them. I want to state very clearly that the status of insecurity in Nairobi must be addressed as a matter of urgency."

The purchase of vehicles and motorcycles would cost Sh900 million as capital expenditure and Sh300 million for recurrent expenditure per annum.

"Parliament must now prioritise and push some expenditure to the back seat to provide for the Sh1.2 billion for security."

Muriuki also lauded the installation of closed circuit cameras by the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development but said there is still a need to digitise police records.

In the interest of security, given the terror threats faced following the Kenyan Defence Force incursion into Somalia, Muriuki said the NCBDA, the Nairobi City Council, the provincial police and bus operators were in talks to have the Kencom and Ambassador bus stations relocated.

"We understand as it is if there is an attack, especially during weekdays, the impact will be far reaching."

Muriuki also wants the government to increase the capacity of the city's fire-fighting ability.

"It's a pity that Nairobi has only three functional fire fighting vehicles and 96 firemen. We need at the minimum 100 fire fighting vehicles and 1,000 firemen," he said.

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