The Star (Nairobi)

10 November 2012

Kenya: Go Ahead With Go-Slow, Shabbir Tells the Police

KISUMU Town East MP Shakeel Shabbir has backed the police officers go-slow. Shabbir said the police officers complaints must be addressed because they are workers just like any other Kenyans.

He said the go-slow may compromise security, but it is paramount that their grievances are addressed. Speaking in Kisumu, the MP said police officers are confronted by difficult working conditions, handling sensitive information and risked their lives.

He said the least the government can do for them is to give them a good pay package. Shabbir said the government must put in place measures to ensure the officers' salaries are increased instead of threatening them.

"The police are simply fighting for their rights. It is important the government listens to their cries and finds a way to solve their problem," said the MP. "The country's security is too important to be compromised."

He said the soaring crime was as a result of demoralised officers. "I urge the National Police Service Commission to prioritise the salary issue being raised by the officers." said Shabbir.

Shabbir criticised the government for arresting AP Philip Omondi for allegedly inciting police officers to go on strike. Omondi a constable attached at the Kimilili Police station is accused of posting a strike notice on his face book page registered under a different name.

Constable Philip Omondi attached to Kimilili police station is accused of sending messages advocating for the go slow. Yesterday, Shabbir also lashed out at several banks across the country which he accused of paying meager allowances to police officers who provide them with security.

"It is quite absurd that police officers are paid as low as Sh 500 allowances to provide security to banks and to offer escort services," the MP said.

Internal; security minister Mutea Iringo has issued a stern warning against [police officers who incite their colleagues to go on strike. He said the National Police Service Act 2011 part VII Article 47 (1), (2) and (3) limits the rights and fundamental freedoms of police officers because of the nature of services they provide.

Police across the country have reportedly been on a go slow demanding for a 42 per cent salary increase as per the 2010 salary increment schedule.

On Tuesday, several banks in Kisumu were closed for several hours after police officers assigned to the banks boycotted work. The government had awarded police officers 28 per cent salary increment in 2010 and 12 per cent in 2011 and the officers were expecting 42 per cent increase last Month. They have instead been awarded 8.5 per cent increase which they have maintained is too low.

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