Saitoti promises thorough police reforms

May 18, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – Internal Security Minister George Saitoti said on Wednesday that the government is committed to implementing comprehensive Police reforms.

Prof Saitoti said that the government would implement reforms proposed by both the Kriegler and Waki Commissions to enhance efficiency, effectiveness, professionalism and accountability within the force.

“The debate on police reforms has attracted a lot of reactions from all sectors of our society; these reactions and comments are legitimate as they are prompted by genuine concerns that seek to add value to our policing practices,” he said, while inaugurating a new task force on police reforms.

“Kenyans and indeed the international community will be watching every closely to see what reforms you will recommend and more importantly how these reforms will contribute to their overall security and safety,” he told the new team.

The task force on police reforms is also expected to review the state of preparedness of the police to combat insecurity and other forms of emerging security challenges, which have been occasioned by national and international threats like terrorism, piracy, organised gangs, money laundering and economic crimes.

The Internal Security Minister said the high level of insecurity has put the police on the spot, with shrill demands for reforms coming from various sections of society.

He said the police reforms form part of Agenda Four of the National Peace Accord.

Prof Saitoti said the establishment of the Independent Police Oversight Board, Police Service Commission and Strengthening Police and Community Partnership are part of institutional reforms to be effected.

The taskforce, headed by retired judge Phillip Ransley, will record written and verbal information from the public, professional bodies and public officers.

It is expected to submit its report to President Mwai Kibaki by July.

“We will be sitting on a daily basis with a view of examining every possible aspect of the matter raised about the security agencies,” said Justice Ransley.

“We will be addressing the public to come forward, all stakeholders and all other interested parties to put the view forward to us. We will be taking into account the matters raised in the Gazette Notice, namely the Waki and Kriegler Reports.”

Justice Ransley’s team will further develop clear guidelines indicating immediate and long term reforms as well as the budgetary requirements.

Other members of the team include retired judge Sarah Ondeyo, Catholic Bishop Alfred Rotich, a former head of the police reserve Mike Harries, Mohamud Ali Saleh, Macharia Njeru, Kyalo Mbobu and Attorney General Amos Wako.


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