Security top priority says Kibaki

September 5, 2008 12:00 am

, GILGIL, September 5 – President Mwai Kibaki has reiterated the government’s commitment to reform security agencies in the country.

The Head of State said crime had become more sophisticated, hence the need to enhance the capacity of law enforcement agencies.

President Kibaki who spoke at a pass-out parade for 3,503 National Youth Service (NYS) personnel on Friday, said he was particularly concerned about the increase of cyber crime.

The Head of State said the government would embrace training to increase the capacity of the police in fighting modern day crime which involves the use of sophisticated gadgets.

“You are therefore expected to be well versed with these crimes that are especially targeted at our people who live in the rural areas, where modern gadgets like mobile phones are in common use and prone to abuse,” the President said.

President Kibaki stressed that security was a prerequisite for development and his Government remained committed to ensuring that it was enhanced in all parts of the country.

He said the move to incorporate former NYS recruits into the police force demonstrated the government’s commitment to increase the police-to-public ratio to meet United Nations recommendations.

Currently, there are only 35,000 regular police officers and about 50,000 Administration Police officers in the country.

This reflects a police to public ratio of 1:1,100 which is far below the recommended UN ratio of 1:450.

To bridge this gap, the police and AP begun implementing an annual double recruitment targeting former NYS recruits who undergo a three-month training to be integrated into the police force.

“We will bridge this gap within the shortest time possible because we are committed to meet the international standards,” President Kibaki said.

To supplement the war against insecurity, President Kibaki said the Government would increase resources to enhance the capacity of peace and conflict resolution committees in conflict prone areas.

He said the government would continue to provide training, enhanced remuneration, adequate housing, secure communication, transport and other critical facilities to fight crime.

The President emphasized that the government would also continue to pursue a variety of strategies aimed at improving the overall security situation in the country including the continuous retrieval of all illegally held firearms. 

He said the government remained committed to finalising legislation related to security that is still pending in Parliament, key among them the Organised Crimes Bill and the Firearms Amendment Bill.

He said review of the Chiefs Act, the Administration Police Act and the Kenya Police Act would also be fast-tracked.

“The reviews are meant to update these Acts to enable the government deal more effectively with emerging crime,” President Kibaki said.

The Head of State, once again, warned that laxity, corruption and impunity in the civil service would not be tolerated.

Commending the recruits for successfully completing the training, President Kibaki told them that as Administration Police officers they were expected to serve the public in an accountable and responsible manner at all times.

In this regard, the President said performance contracts and other performance measurement instruments would continue to be cascaded across the government at all levels.

“As you begin your new career as police officers, I would like to remind you that the present policing environment is both dynamic and complex,” President Kibaki said.

Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti and the Administration Police Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua also pledged their commitment to maintain law and order in the country.



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