Kenya police task force seeks more time

July 15, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 15 – The team appointed to spearhead reforms in the police force is now seeking an extension of their mandate that is set to expire at the end of this month.

Chairman Justice (Rtd) Philip Ransley said the extension will enable them give comprehensive recommendations that will improve the justice system in the country.

“Our intention is that we will produce a police force that is second to none in the world. We recognise that if we don’t have a good police force, then we have anarchy and violence,” he said.

The 18-member task force which formally began work in May is expected to submit its report to President Mwai Kibaki by July 31.

Justice Ransley spoke after his team paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Raila Odinga who told them that they faced an onerous responsibility of making recommendations that will bring radical changes in the police force.

Noting that the task force was appointed when matters of security in the country are a major concern, the Prime Minister said Kenyans and the international community expected that their recommendations would help mould a police force of international repute.

“The Police force has expanded considerably since the colonial days, but some of its structures are wanting and remain oppressive. These are the issues we want to address in the envisaged reforms,” the PM said.

Saying the country’s security matters featured prominently in international arena, Mr Odinga emphasised that there was need for inculcating a sense of professionalism in the police force that will guarantee security for all.

Noting that corruption had tainted the name of the police force, the PM said it was disheartening that police officers lobbied and jostled to be posted in certain sections deemed lucrative like the traffic department.

“Our sister countries in this region have complained to us about the rising cost of transporting goods from the Port of Mombasa to destinations in Rwanda, Uganda and beyond due to what they see as corruption by the police at the toll stations and roadblocks,” the PM said.

The task force will recommend comprehensive reforms after reviewing the force’s existing policy, institutional, legislative, administrative and operational structures.


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