4 February 2013

Kenya: Transition of Police Should Be Orderly


Police reforms are underway. The top leadership led by the Inspector General and his two deputies have been appointed by a national police service commission (NPSC) that works together with an independent police oversight authority (IPOA).

A look deeper into the facade of a smooth running police service reveals troubling developments that need to be urgently addressed.

Last week's announcement by the Johnstone Kavuludi led police service commission that several police ranks had been abolished and replaced with new ones, followed swiftly by a withdrawal of the new ranks and reinstatement of the old ranks reveals a security system that is not working together.

Consultations were not made before the new ranks were announced. Police officers pointed out that the new ranks created confusion since the new ranks did not specify roles to go with them.

The NPSC also went ahead to appoint three junior policemen to top positions in the police without the knowledge of the Inspector General.

We also have a oversight authority that often acts like a lobby group, opposing decisions made by the police service commission, and campaigning for certain positions.

The Ministry of Internal Security has now been forced to intervene in the in-fighting, and also suspend vetting of senior police officers, and new appointments until after elections. The reforms underway are necessary, but must be undertaken an orderly manner that does not compromise Kenya's security.

Quote of the day: "All I was doing was trying to get home from work." - US  activist Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her bus seat to a white  passenger in 1955, was born on February 4, 1906

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