Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: Ashimala, Kimaiyo Interviewed for Top Police Job

Nairobi — The interviews for the post of Inspector General of the National Police Service entered day two on Saturday with three more candidates questioned on their suitability to head the security agencies.

Those interviewed include deputy commandant of the Kenya Police College in Kiganjo Joseph Ashimala, David Kimaiyo of the Small Arms Secretariat and John Patrick Odueng Owino, a civilian short listed for the Inspector General's position.

Ashimala was the fourth candidate to face the Kavuludi-led commission after former Nyanza Police chief Grace Kaindi, Kenya Airways chief security officer Swaleh Slim and former Provincial Commissioner Hassan Noor Hassan were interviewed on Friday.

Candidates interviewed on Saturday were put to task on the actions police took to contain the riots that broke out in Kisumu during the 2008 post election violence, and whether they were justified.

"I would say that it was not only Kisumu that was chaotic. The violence was all over but in Kisumu, the violence erupted like a volcano and we had to use the resources we had during that time to return the situation to normal," Ashimala said.

"We went out, talked to the people and in some cases controlled the violence. We were all over patrolling and sensitising our men on the need to return the situation to normal," he said, in an apparent defense to the actions police took to quell the chaos that broke out soon after President Mwai Kibaki was announced winner of the 2007 general election which his main rival at the time, Rail Odinga (now Prime Minister) insisted was stolen.

Ashimala told the panel that if appointed Inspector General, he will increase the police ratio to 1: 450 from the current 1: 1000 which way below the recommended levels by the United Nations standards.

"Unless someone becomes specific and says this what was wrong with security I will be able to address it, but as far as I am concerned, violence erupted and we reacted to it and in the long run we were able to return the country to normal," he said.

Kimaiyo on his part told the commission he has a vision for the police which he had served for a long time before he was re-deployed to the Heritage Ministry and later to the Kenya National Focal Point on small arms.

"I will change the police, there is a lot to be done because times are changing and so is the police and how they do things," he said.

Owino who was interviewed on Saturday afternoon told the commission he has what it takes to transform the police.

On Monday, the panel will interview Peter Macharia Mwangi of the State Law Office, Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe before concluding with Interpol liaison officer Mary Oyugi Kaol.

Commission chairman Johnston Kavuludi says they are racing against time to ensure Kenyans have an inspector General of Police by the end of next month.

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