, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 18 – Police headquarters on Monday asked junior police officers countrywide to be patient and wait for the implementation of their salary increment and avoid paralysing operations.
Deputy Police Spokesman Charles Wahong’o said the matter was being addressed internally and official communication would be released in due course.
“The matter is under review and there should be no worry at all. Officers countrywide have been assured that it will sorted amicably. They should continue carrying out their duties,” Mr Wahong’o told Capital News on telephone from Vigilance House.
Mr Wahong’o said Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere was personally handling the matter to end discontent amongst junior officers who have resorted to jamming the official communication channel used for security operations.
“The Police commissioner is personally handling the matter. Therefore, officers should be patient,” he added, without elaborating.
Junior police officers mainly in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and towns in central Kenya have been interrupting communication whenever their seniors are passing orders or coordinating operations, thus jeopardising security in the country.
Nairobi was the worst affected, with senior police officers resorting to using their mobile phones to coordinate official security operations.
The interruptions followed revelations that the second phase of the salary increment for police officers which was meant to be implemented at the end of this month will not be there after all.
The first phase of the salary increment was paid out to the officers in July last year following a recommendation by the Justice Philip Ransley commission that documented challenges facing the law enforcement agencies.
Police officers who spoke to Capital News on Monday said the matter was not only affecting the junior officers because the increment will also go to the senior officers.
“The salary issue is being misunderstood. We are not the only ones affected because when the increment comes, it will be paid out to everybody even the seniors who are sitting in offices and doing nothing about it,” a junior police officer furious with the salary increment delay said.
Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti had assured the officers that the salary increments will be implemented annually for three years until next year.
“The government should honour its pledge and pay us. We are not asking for too much. We want what we were promised. This money is in the budget,” another officer who cannot be named for fear of losing his job said.
Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia recently indicated that up to Sh9 billion will be required to pay out the second phase of the salary increment for police officers.
When the first phase of the salary increment was implemented last July, the lowest ranked police officer – a constable under job group PG1 – was paid Sh21,205 up from Sh18,155 in their previous pay slips.