, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 26 – A group of civil society organisations is demanding the dismissal and prosecution of police officers who will be found to have engaged in gross human rights violations during the vetting process set to begin next month.
According to the Police Reforms Working Group, such officers need to be weeded out of the force as part of efforts to clean up the service.
Chairman of the group Peter Kiama said on Tuesday that such action will restore the confidence of the public in the police force.
“We cannot continue to have criminals in the Service – people who do not believe in the rule of law or our Constitution. If information is submitted on particular police officers and no relevant action is taken, the Commission has a review board that can review the decisions made by the vetting panel,” he said, referring to the National Police Service Commission.
He further indicated that action should be taken against those who opt out of the exercise and have also committed gross violations.
“If it happens that a particular officer is opting out because they have been involved in gross human rights violation, we do highly recommend to the commission that action should be taken against them. That even if you are opting out and there is credible evidence that you have committed criminal offenses, you still need to be investigated and prosecuted,” he stated.
He stated that this will enrich the vetting process and guarantee its success.
“We wish to assure police officers and Kenyans in general that we remain vigilant to ensure the vetting process is neither a whitewash to deceive the country nor a witch hunt to punish or victimise any innocent police officer. We wish to remind individual police officers that during this process they also have the opportunity and indeed a moral obligation to submit credible information about their colleagues that can aid the vetting process,” he said.
He explained that Article 7 of the National Police Service Act (NPSA) 2011 provides for vetting of all serving officers to ascertain their competence and suitability to continue serving in the National Police Service and to discontinue from the service any officer who fails in the vetting.
“Whereas we appreciate the commencement of this process, the police vetting should have been initiated two years ago upon the enactment of the National Police Service Act of 2011,” he stated.