Kenya: Senate Censures IG Hillary Mutyambai Over Police Uniform Rule

28 September 2020

Senators have criticised Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai's directive to police officers in Nairobi to buy their own new uniforms, saying the move violates the officers' rights.

The house now wants Mr Mutyambai to appear before the security committee chaired by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji to explain circumstances under which officers are subjected to buy uniforms without any special allowances.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei also wants the Ministry of Interior and the National Police Service (NPS) to furnish the House with a list of companies awarded the tender to supply of the new uniforms.

"When you go around the city, ordinary retailers are making police uniforms. This is a security scare because it presents a situation where any person can make police uniforms," Mr Cherargei said.

Wajir Senator Abdullahi Ali the permission to local tailors to make police uniforms would increase insecurity in the country.

"National Police Service should have specific suppliers. I know it is good business for Kenyans but it poses a security threat," Senator Ali said.

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula said there is need to centralise the issuance of police uniforms to make it difficult to produce a replica. He regretted that there is still a mix of officers in new and old uniforms, posing confusion to members of the public.

Buy uniforms

"Police uniforms just like the army uniform should not be easy to access," Mr Wetangula said.

Nominated Senator Getrude Musuruve said it is unfair to subject officers to buy uniforms, saying the government should provide them with three sets annually. Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina said forcing the officers to buy uniforms is a security threat.

"If we cannot provide them uniforms and give them good housing, how do we expect them to provide us with security? And then you wonder why some shoot themselves, it is because of frustration," Mr Ledama said.

Last week, Nairobi police boss Rashid Yakub directed that officers in Nairobi wear the new uniform warning that disciplinary action would be taken against those who did not. He said the directive was aimed at ensuring discipline in the city.

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