28 December 2012

Kenya: Citizens Should Fund the Police


Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo has his work cut out. Not only will he be expected to arrest gun-totting and grenade-lobbying criminals, he must also become the face of the much needed police reforms.

But Kimaiyo should not be expected to deliver the reforms if his officers are denied their much needed financing and equipment.

Kenyan police are handicapped with regard to transport facilities. Their needs far outweigh the transport resources at their disposal.

There are minimal vehicles to carry out their duties, and the few available resources are poorly serviced and scarcely fueled. The lack of reliable transport means therefore that the police will be slow to respond to incidents of crime.

For example, officers in Tana River which is geographically bigger than Nairobi, Western, Nyanza, central and Coast provinces combined cannot fight bandits by pursuing them on foot, as the vehicles allocated to are area are inadequate.

Housing remains a challenge for junior officers as they are compelled to share living units of two or three bedroom flat accommodation with other families.

Officers lack adequate health insurance, and the poor conditions of service are evident in their operational and logistical facilities.

They have minimal IT infrastructure and in many instances have to do with manual recordings and filing of information. All these factors contribute to low morale at work and also predispose many officers to a professional lifestyle of corruption.

Quote of the day: "Quotations are useful in periods of ignorance or obscurantist beliefs." - French writer Guy deBord, who was born on December 28, 1931

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