NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18 – Junior police officers angered by the government’s failure to increase their monthly pay have jammed their internal communication system since Tuesday night.
The interruption mainly felt in Nairobi hampered police operations, forcing senior officers to pass orders through their mobile phones.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult to get orders down to the ground. There is a lot of interruption,” a senior police officer said.
A police officer seen carrying the communication gadget in Nairobi’s Central Business District hardly used it because of the interruptions which included loud music played through the system as well as use of vulgar language whenever a senior officer sought to pass orders.
The officers are furious at the government’s recent announcement of hiking civil servants’ pay, yet it has not fully implemented the law enforcers’ pay increase pledged more than three years ago.
“They should raise their grievances through the right channel and not interrupting communication. What they are doing will not help matters,” another officer angered by the interruptions said.
On Monday, the Public Service Ministry announced a pay increase for some 133,000 civil servants, including National Youth Service (NYS) personnel.
The increment will be implemented at the end of this month.
According to Public Service Minister Dalmas Otieno the increase will benefit civil servants in job groups A to T. He said the government will spend up to Sh6.8 billion in the implementation in this financial year.
Police were awarded a 28 percent pay increase in 2010 but the entire increment has not been paid to officers.
Police headquarters in Nairobi has not formally responded on what it is doing to restore communication in the wake of the interruptions.
Nairobi Provincial Police chief Antony Kibuchi said the matter will be dealt with internally.