13 November 2012

Kenya: Police Reforms Will End Killing of Officers, Says Lobby

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) has given the government a seven-day ultimatum to allow the registration of a police union. COTU ... ( Resource: Kenyan Govt Urged to Allow Police Union )

A lobby group of NGOs in the security sector has urged the government to speed up police reforms to avoid killings of police officers on duty.

The group blamed the deaths of 30 officers in Samburu at the weekend on lack of policing leadership that would have given direction on the actions to be taken.

"We have lost officers and as a country we need to start looking at the option of providing armored vehicles for them in operational areas even as a short term option. The government mus act now or they will be operating as headless chicken," Usalama Reforms Forum, an umbrella group of twelve organisations, said.

"We don't have a policing directive that give people in position what action to take. We need the Cabinet to give policing direction. We need to address the influx of small arms and light weapons."

The forum said this is the largest number of police officers to loose their lives in a single operation and pleaded with the government to procure armored personnel carriers for police officers in such operations areas.

The organisation's co-ordinator Philip Onguje said police reforms must now target police stations where services are delivered instead of board rooms.

Onguje said the government must establish a police station rehabilitation and development fund to boost the officers morale, improve work conditions, procure equipment and reform the management of police stations.

He criticised the plan to recruit 7,000 police officers in November 22 yet the National Police Service Commission has not evaluated the the facilities at the country's police training colleges.

"NPSC must tell Kenyans if recruitment of the 7,000 officers in in the country's best interests. How can you train these officers in three months and expect to induct them to assist in the election process? Integrity of the process is in doubt because the last exercise fell short of the gender parity and we expect the same to happen this year," Onguje said.

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