19 September 2018

Kenya: Joseph Boinett - New Police Uniforms Here to Stay

Photo: Dennis Onsongo/Daily Nation
Police officers display their new new uniform during the national policing conference at the Kenya School of Government on September 13, 2018.

The Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinett has said the new police uniforms are here to stay despite the harsh criticism from the public and a section of officers.

However, he said he was open to ideas on how to perhaps modify the much-criticised uniforms.

"There seems to be discomfort about this, but the public is welcome to give ideas on the new uniforms," he said on Tuesday at the third Editors Guild Press Club luncheon.

The launch of the revamped police uniforms -- deep blue for work, navy blue ceremonial outfit and a deep blue working dress jacket were unveiled last week -- is part of the change of policy in the National Police Service announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta.


The uniforms are made by the National Youth Service as part of the government's efforts to boost cotton farming and the apparel industry. But a majority of Kenyans have criticised the new uniforms, describing them as ugly.

At the same time, Mr Boinnet exuded confidence that the abolition of mandatory and free housing for junior officers would help integrate police into the society and enhance community policing.

Elsewhere, the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) announced Tuesday that the National Police Service would go ahead with the procurement of the new uniforms despite the criticism by many Kenyans.


Speaking at the police training college in Nyeri, NPSC Commissioner Ronald Musengi said: "The officers may not have the right to criticise the new uniforms. Of course, we have seen people on social media saying the uniforms are similar to the PCEA Women's Guild or Girl Guide uniforms, but they have a right to give their opinions."

However, he did not give a timeline on when the uniforms would be available.

Since the unveiling last week, the uniforms have drawn sharp criticism. While many officers preferred to keep the traditional navy blue uniforms, the NPSC said their opinion does not count.


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