, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – The final report on proposed police reforms is opposed to a merger with the Administration Police department.
The report submitted on Tuesday by the National Task National on Police Reforms has instead called for the creation of a National Policing Council that would ensure proper representation of all police formations.
“The National Policing Council should be chaired by the Permanent Secretary in-charge of Police Services and would be responsible for budgeting and resource allocation,” said a statement issued by the Presidential Press Service after the report was handed over to President MWai Kibaki said.
The report handed over to the President by Justice (rtd) Philip Ransley calls for the transformation of the Kenya Police into a Police Service to be headed by an Inspector General and the Administration Police Service which will be headed by a Commandant General.
Currently, the Kenya Police is headed by Mathew Iteere who is the Commissioner while the Administration Police is headed by Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua.
On receiving the report, President Kibaki assured that its recommendations would be implemented in order to transform the Kenya Police Force into a professional and world-class police service.
He however, did not give a time-line for the implementation programme.
An interim report submitted by Justice Ransley three months ago, called for the immediate sacking of immediate former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali who was subsequently replaced by Mr Iteere.
When Mr Iteere was appointed, President Kibaki made far-reaching changes in the force and announced more to come once the final report was submitted.
A team led by former North Eastern Provincial Police chief Jonathan Kosgey that was appointed by the President to oversee the reform agenda has been traversing various parts of the country to seek views of the police on the ground on the kind of changes they require in line with the final report handed.
The Ransely team that handed over its final report on Tuesday also recommended the establishment of an Independent Policing Oversight Authority charged with investigations on all public complaints against the police service.
“The Oversight Authority should be chaired by a person of the rank of Judge of the High Court and members be drawn from fields such as human resource, financial management, corporate management and religious organizations among other relevant fields,” the PPS statement said.
“To champion the welfare of the security personnel The Police Service Commission will be established. It will be responsible for transfers, recruitment and promotions of police officers.”
“This would require a constitutional amendment since the police would now report to a body separate from the Public Service Commission,” the statement added.
Currently, the Kenya Police only relies on an internal complaints department based at Vigilance House and the Police Oversight Board which was formed by President Kibaki earlier this year.
The creation of a strong and independent Policing Oversight Authority is likely to take over the operations of the two bodies.
Other recommendations include:
1. Establishment of the Police Reforms Implementation Committee in order to institutionalize the necessary administrative, policy, legal and constitutional reforms advocated in the report.
2. Establishment of a clear code of ethics to be subscribed to by all police officers In order to fight corruption. Police officers will be prohibited from engaging in businesses that amount to conflict of interest especially matatu and towing businesses.
3. There shall be established the Pay and Benefits Review Commission to look into the welfare of the police. This will lead to among other issues, implementation of a comprehensive medical insurance scheme that will be established immediately.
4. Improved working conditions for police officers in terms of allowances such as medical, insurance and housing as part of changing the policing culture and building greater confidence for the law enforcers. In this regard a comprehensive police housing expansion program that had begun will be fast tracked. The Government will also target, over a period of time, to provide enough transport facilities for all police stations.
5. Implementation of a National Policing Policy and the National Security Policy.
The team led by Ransley was appointed in May and submitted its interim report in August. This saw the replacement of Major General (rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali as Police Commissioner and a reshuffle of other top officers at Vigilance House..
On receiving the final report on Tuesday, President Kibaki ordered the immediate payment of outstanding payments for police officers in regard to transfer and security operations allowances.
He said the arrears had accumulated to over Sh400 million.