Major changes due for Kenya’s police

August 10, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10 – Kenyans are set to get better services from the security agencies under the new Constitution once it is promulgated, Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti has said.

He said they were preparing to table five key legislations in Parliament once the constitution is anchored to enable the Ministry fast track reforms in the security sector.

“There will be a lot of reasons why Kenyans need to be happy because we have a new Constitution in place.  There will be much more benefits to reap because of the ongoing reforms,” Prof Saitoti said.

He said the Ministry was facing numerous challenges in implementing the ongoing police reforms because of existing legislations, some of which will change immediately President Mwai Kibaki promulgates the new law on August 27.

He named the Independent Police Oversight Bill, Police Reforms Bill, National Coroners Service Bill, Police Service Commission Bill and the Private Security Providers Bill as the most crucial laws he has lined up for tabling in the House.

The Bills, he said, will revolutionalise both the Kenya police and Administration police as proposed in the new Constitution.

Once promulgated, the new Constitution will ensure there is a National Police Service Commission which will ensure harmonised delivery of services to the public.

“I intend to move with speed and table the appropriate Bills in respect to the National Police Service and National Police Service Commission to among others ensure that officers’ welfare and standards of conduct are looked after,” he said.

“This is extremely important because they will drastically change the face of our security agencies to be more responsive to the people,” Prof Saitoti said at the launch of modern apartments built for the Administration Police at Nairobi’s Shauri Moyo estate.

The houses which will house up to 500 police officers were built at a cost of Sh98 million.

The government is in the process of carrying out a major reform programme for the police as recommended by a task force which was headed by retired Judge Philip Ransley.

President Kibaki has pledged to ensure the entire report of the task force is implemented fully at a cost of Sh8.1 billion.

Already some of the reforms recommended in the report are being implemented, including the increase of police salaries and allowances with the first batch paid out to the security agencies in last month’s pay.

Among other things, the task force recommended that the government establishes an independent oversight authority which will oversee activities of the security agencies in the country.

Currently, there is no oversight body for the police apart from an internal complains desk based at police headquarters which the taskforce members felt cannot work independently because it investigates ills committed by fellow police officers.

The Internal Security Minister is now convinced that things will change once he tables the legislation that seeks to establish the oversight authority because it will monitor the professionalism, effectiveness and efficiency of the police besides promoting the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people.

The new Constitution which was overwhelmingly passed during the August 4 referendum seeks to have a new structure for the police force which will acquire a new name – the Police Service.

It will be headed by an Inspector General (IG) of the Kenya Police Service and Commandant General of Administration Police Service (CG).

There will be a Deputy Inspector General and assistants for the General Service Unit (GSU), Operations and Directorate of Criminal Investigations Department

There will also be Provincial Police Commissioners (PPCs) who will report to the IG among other changes.


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