, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 9 – The Inspector General of Police will be in office by December, the newly sworn in chairman of the National Police Service Commission, Johnstone Kavuludi, promised on Tuesday.
He also said that the police boss will not necessarily come from the force. “I think all Kenyans have a right, if they’re qualified, to be appointed to any office in the Republic of Kenya.”
He made the statement immediately after the commission’s swearing in at the Supreme Court. The ceremony was presided over by the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Attorney General Githu Muigai and Internal Security Minister Katoo ole Metito.
Metito urged the commission to immediately get to the job of appointing the Inspector General of Police, his two deputies and the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department.
“There are several urgent activities that need to be fast tracked to sustain the ongoing police reforms. As a matter of priority, Kenyans are anxious to have the Inspector General and his two deputies appointed and the vetting of members of the police service started.”
The minister also told the commission members to immediately start the recruitment process of 7,000 police officers which was delayed by the operationalisation of the commission.
Metito said the upcoming elections make it more urgent for the ratio of police officers to the public to move more towards internationally accepted standards.
The 2007 elections, Mutunga said, proved there was a need to reform the police force. Especially with elections set to be held in five months, “Kenya went into the last elections with a police service that was neither independent nor run on a clear line of command. Just like the judiciary, the police emerged from the elections heavily indicted for the events that occurred at election time and after.”
Metito also highlighted the need for a new training curriculum saying, “The Ministry of Higher Education Science and Technology has authorised the existing police training colleges to offer ordinary diploma and higher national diploma (courses) in police science.”
Mutunga welcomed the commission warning; “This commission coming into office almost a full year after the process of its selection commenced should be indicative of the hurdles that are likely to pop up.”
Kavuludi pledged to make the police service a more cohesive unit and that the commission would carry out its mandate under the guidance of the Judiciary, “transforming the current police services into one cohesive, modern and effective service that is responsive to the challenges of our fast changing nation.”