Nairobi — Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku says Inspector General David Kimaiyo was within his mandate in reshuffling 55 senior police officers last week. Lenku who spoke in Mombasa on Saturday said the IG was acting within the law as stipulated by the constitution in transferring the senior police officers.
The transfers have been rejected by National Police Service Commission chairman Johnstone Kavuludi who termed them illegal. "The posting of police commanders fall clearly under the mandate of the Inspector General of Police," Lenku said, citing Article 145, which he said provides for an independent command of the service.
"Therefore I want to encourage Kenyans not to spend time debating on what should not actually take their time," Lenku stated, "As a Ministry we are very clear about the functions of the National Police Service Commission and that of the Inspector General of Police."
Last year, the IG posted 141 county commanders without involving the commission, raising a similar storm from Kavuludi. The recent transfers affected senior police officers in the General Service Unit, regular police and the traffic department.
Kavuludi has rejected the changes, saying they are unconstitutional because he was not consulted as required by law.
In the changes, Charlton Murithi Muriuki who once served as the Director of Personnel at Police Headquarters and as North Eastern police chief was named the new Traffic Commandant, replacing Samuel Kimaru who was sent to Police Headquarters for further re-deployment.
The Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Joel Mboya Kitili was appointed the GSU Commandant while William Siaya who initially headed the unit has been re-deployed to head the National Focal Point on Small Arms.
Boniface Nzioki Maingi who was the Deputy GSU Commandant has been appointed the Chief Licensing Officer.
"The joint service board in meeting held on 18th March 2014 approved the deployment of the following officers (list published below) with immediate effect," a statement by the Deputy Inspector General of Kenya Police, Grace Kaindi, indicated.
John Patrick Owino who has been heading the small arms unit is the new commandant of the Police Airwing replacing Rodgers Mbithi.
The changes are seen as measures Kimaiyo is putting in place to stem rising crime, and the re-emergence of road carnage.
Several divisional police chiefs (OCPDs) were also moved in the changes, among them Patrick Oduma of Nairobi Central Police Division who has been transferred to Matuga in Kwale.
The new Central OCPD is Fredrick Muthama.