2 February 2013

Kenya: New Police Ranks Suspended Until After Elections

The National Police Service Commission announced on Saturday that it had suspended effecting new police ranks, appointments and insignia unveiled last week.

Commission chairman Johnston Kavuludi said the new ranks which had been gazetted be effected after the general election to avoid causing disharmony and friction amongst officers.

Kavuludi says the suspension was agreed following consultations between Internal Security Permanent Secretary Mutea Iringo and Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo.

Some of the top ranks from Deputy Commissioner of Police up to the Assistant Commissioner of Police had been scrapped and replaced with Assistant Inspector General of Police in changes affected more than 200 police officers.

Effectively, all senior police officers have been urged to continue wearing their insignia until advised otherwise.

Soon after the announcement of the new changes last week, there have been murmurs amongst police officers involved, with others expressing fears of losing their jobs.

"Why are they taking such drastic measures before adequate consultations are made, they should wait," a senior police officers said.

Already, plans are underway to deploy senior officers to head the counties in line with the devolved structure of government.

The police commission had settled on 12 ranks starting under the Inspector General of Police, two Deputy Inspector Generals, Assistant Inspector General, Senior Superintendent, Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Chief Inspector, Inspector, Senior Sergeant, Sergeant, Corporal and Constable.

Kavuludi had also announced that there would be County Commanders who would be deputised by two officers- one in charge of the County Kenya Police Service and the other in charge of the County Administration Police Service.

On Saturday, Kavuludi said the law enforcement agencies were adequately prepared to ensure security in the country before, during and after the general election.

"The service is prepared to provide the necessary security coverage during campaign period, the polling day, post election period until a new government is in office to discharge its mandate as clearly defined in the constitution and enabling legislations," they said in a joint statement.

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