The Star (Nairobi)

20 June 2014

Kenya: Police Force Needs Radical Shake-Up

editorial

Cord has called off rallies scheduled for this weekend in Kisii and Nakuru. This was a wise and prudent move by Cord that shows it has the interests of the nation at heart.

The risks of proceeding with the rallies were too great. In Nakuru hate leaflets have been circulating today and yesterday calling for all Luos to leave the town.

A rally at this time could easily erupt in violence and set off a negative chain reaction across the country. Now that Cord has backed off, it is incumbent on the Jubilee administration to up its game.

Security in Kenya is now the worst that it has been for 15 years. Terrorism is ongoing and violent crime, including armed robbery and conflict between communities, is rising rapidly.

To restore order, radical reform is now urgently needed in the security services, particularly the police. President Kenyatta should order a shake-up of the top police leadership and put his best professionals in charge.

The Independent Police Oversight Authority needs to be empowered to discipline the police, rather than being continuously undermined by central government.

The need to restore security in Kenya is becoming an emergency. We risk losing investment, tourism and political unity. Government must act now.

Quote of the day: "Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves. " - Queen Victoria ascended to the British throne on June 20, 1837

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