, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23- President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced the government plans to purchase two more helicopters for the police by June this year to enhance its surveillance capability.
Speaking during the Inspector General’s conference in South C, the head of state said the move is aimed at improving the fight against crime in the country.
“As of today, two MI 17 Helicopter troop carriers have been taken in for complete overhaul, while a new helicopter has been procured, and will be arriving in the country in the next few weeks,” he said.
The police, he said, will now be independent and will not have to depend on the military or other security agents to perform their duties.
So far at least 2,220 assorted vehicles have been provided through a lease arrangement which has more than doubled police visibility on the ground.
Additionally, he said, the government intends to purchase Armoured Personnel Carriers for the police—the first time in Kenya’s history.
On the welfare of police officers, the president said the government is holding discussions with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) with a view of ensuring police officers are properly housed, kitted and commensurately remunerated.
“I want to assure you that we are working with SRC and they are clear that police just like the military should go on the four year review so that everybody is paid and knows when the review IS coming and on what basis it IS being done,” he said.
But even as the government invests in the security force, the head of state challenged them to seek to remove few bad elements within the force who are involved in corruption which has over the years tainted the image of the police force.
The Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet on his part pledged more effort in to dealing with crime, lauding the government’s achievements in implementing police reforms.
“We have taken the lessons learnt to make plans for the coming year. We will continue working on our own, and with other government departments and the people of this country to combat principally the threat of terrorism, banditry and cattle rustling and to focus on people who make intemperate statements hence causing unnecessary conflict,” Boinnet said.