All eyes on police, AP recruitment

April 26, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – Civil Society Organisations have emphasised the need for transparency in the police recruitment exercise that is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

Usalama Reforms Forum Chairman Peter Kariuki said that other than being free of corruption – which has been prevalent in the past – the process needs to provide equal opportunities to everyone as envisaged in the new Constitution.

Mr Kariuki said on Tuesday that the organisation would be vigilant throughout the exercise to ensure Kenyans seeking to join the police are hired transparently.

"There have been instances where recruiters are corrupted beforehand," he said while at the same time advising candidates to be wary of officials who may be out to take advantage of them by soliciting bribes.

"For instance, we know that the issue of a certificate of good conduct has now been waived so any recruiting officer who asks a member of the public to produce a certificate of good conduct before they are allowed to enter the recruitment process will be violating the recruitment procedure."

He pointed out that a national "Police Recruitment Watch Centre" would also be opened and based at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights offices.

"There are monitors in all the 47 counties covering at least 200 of the designated 287 recruitment centres. There are also appointed observers by the District Recruitment Committees in every recruitment centre across the country," he said.

He stated that the monitoring and observation process would particularly seek to establish general information regarding the process, for example, whether the number of people to be selected in each centre is declared and the gender balance revealed.

"Together with the public, we shall use an SMS-only line to report issues that come up in real time so as to enable an immediate response," he stated.

The national joint recruitment exercise of more than 7,000 trainees will be held on a single day to prevent corruption and block aspirants from applying at several centres.

Recruits will be asked if they want to join the Administration or Kenya Police. Successful candidates will report for training on May 12 for APs and 15 for regular police respectively.

This is the first time the exercise is being conducted jointly in the spirit of the new Constitution, which harmonises relations between the two forces that have historically been at variance.

The minimum requirement for recruits is a C (plain), up from the previous D (Plain) and the minimum age has also been increased to between 18 and 28 years for KCSE holders, and 30 years for university graduates.

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