, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 11 – The police department is still faced with a deficit of over 7,000 vehicles, causing a major constraint on security operations in the country.
Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti says the government is committed to ensure the deficit is bridged to enable security forces carry out their duties effectively.
“It is important that we ensure our officers have vehicles that can enable them respond to issues effectively. We currently have a deficit of 7,203 vehicles against an authorized establishment of 9,779,” the minister said when he flagged off some new 65 vehicles for the Administration police.
Professor Saitoti said the vehicles are part of some 130 vehicles being purchased in this financial year.
“This financial year the Ministry (of Internal Security) has been allocated Sh1.4 billion for the purchase of motor vehicles.
Out of the this allocation, the minister said Sh49.9 million will purchase vehicles for the Provincial Administration, Sh1 billion for the police department while Sh400 million will be spent on the Administration police department.
“We have a major security challenge posed by the Al Shabaab and as you all know our military are in Somalia pursuing them. In this department, our police officers will continue to maintain security in the country to keep away Al Shabaab sleepers,” the minister said.
Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia said there had been a delay in the procurement of vehicles this financial year, on what he blamed on the suppliers.
“The delay has been occasioned by the suppliers declining to the extension of last year’s supply branch contract as is normal practice,” the PS said.
“The signing of the new contract between the supplier and the Ministry for public Works has further delayed due to the fluctuating Foreign Exchange Rate,” he said adding that the government had been assured that the new contract will be in place soon.
The PS said the government will prioritize the purchase of vehicles because various departments of the police and AP were going without vehicles, thus hampering their service delivery.
He said over 100 District Commissioners have no official caravan vehicles while 438 divisional district officers were working without vehicles in their areas.
“The same challenge is facing 480 OCPDs, OCSs and commanders of police posts. Two hundred and twenty district AP commanders also have no vehicles,” the minister said adding that “the amount voted to the ministry for the purchase of motor vehicles in the current financial year is grossly inadequate,” he said.
The PS said the government will also ensure all malfunctioning vehicles that are lying at police stations and district headquarters are brought to Nairobi for repairs.
CMC’s Chief Executive Officer Bill Lay assured the government that his company will ensure availability of service for vehicles and parts across the country at all times.
“That is our promise, when we sell vehicles it is our responsibility to also ensure that parts and qualified personnel to service them are available,” Lay said.