NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 20 – As they approved the nomination of David Mwole Kimaiyo as the first Inspector-General of Police, Members of Parliament took time to cite impediments that may block his efforts to implement police reforms.
From the MPs’ contributions, it become very clear that Kimaiyo must arrest the Treasury’s tendency of cutting funds meant for purchasing police equipment and improving terms of service, if he is to succeed in his four year non-renewable term.
Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo said that he feared Kimaiyo’s efforts at reforming the police force may be frustrated by the lack of adequate resources.
“Mr Speaker if we need the government to invest in security in this country, we need to move the whole government to Eastleigh so that they can feel the pain of insecurity. We should have the residence of these ministers on First and Second Avenue (of Eastleigh) so that when we say we need money this government can understand,” said Kilonzo.
Eastleigh has been in the news lately due to numerous grenade attacks that police have blamed on Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab militant group.
Kimaiyo’s name was tabled in the House on Wednesday by the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security which gave him a clean bill of health.
MPs said that it would be pointless to appoint a career officer if the government does not improve the welfare of policemen. Defence Assistant Minister Maj-Gen (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery said the police had been wrongly blamed for failing to provide security, while the true picture is that they don’t enjoy the resource that are invested in the military.
Tetu MP Francis Nyammo said the government must also remember to look at where the police work, and residences pointing out that some officers are forced to put up in small cone shaped tin huts which they often have to share. He said this is contributes to their low morale for work.
The chairman of the House Committee on Security Fred Kapondi told Parliament Kimaiyo has what it takes to lead the national police service.
“We feel as a committee that this house approves him so that the police force which has been yearning for reforms can reform to the current challenges,” he said
Internal Security Minister Katoo ole Metito said he was confident that with Kimaiyo at the helm, the police can embrace reforms and ensure that policing is done in partnership with the community and with at most respect to human rights and the rule of the law.
”’The reforms that are aimed at transforming police into a professional, accountable and people friendly security organ, that can inspire trust among the people it serves actually requires a person who understands the police and the circumstances under which they operate and has the courage to admit that there is an urgent need to change the way we have conducted our policing” said the Metito.
Government Chief Whip Jakoyo Midiwo said the Kimaiyo had the best chance to change the force, because the new police service will enjoy it independence from political interference.
“I hope the new IG will realise that he is now independent from politicians, that the police force is now an independent body that does not report to the OP or DC.” Midiwo said, “I hope the minister also knows he will no longer be giving orders to the IG through phone calls or barking instructions… everything must be in writing.”
Defence Minister Yusuf Haji said Kenyans must also support the new IG to ensure he gets the country’s policing standard to where they want it to be.
“Kimaiyo has qualities you don’t see with many people, he is a very humble, honest and hardworking officer during his career he has dedicated himself to this nation,” said Haji.
Zakayo Cheruiyot, who was Internal Security PS when Kimaiyo was Commander of the Presidential Escort, described the IG designate as hardworking and diligent career police officer who always showed commitment to his work.
“He is our career policeman who is honest, tough but also amiable and humane. He is somebody I have worked with and indeed we are justified 10 years later that we have every good officers who were doing a very good job for the country,” said the Kuresoi MP
“I also found it easy to pass and get information to Mr Kimaiyo and to discuss issues of security with him. Kimaiyo was always ready to advice and listen and share in the agony that we as politicians were going through.” Medical Service Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o said of his encounter with Kimaiyo during 2007-2008 post election violence.
Kimaiyo, 52, who joined the police force in 1979, now awaits formal appointment by President Mwai Kibaki who had sent his name to Parliament.
Kimaiyo will take over from current Commissioner Mathew Iteere who did not apply for the Inspector General’s position when it was advertised.
During the interviews, Kimaiyo emerged the best after scoring 86.46 percent. His deputy at the Small Arms Unit, John Owino, came second with 78.98 points while the Kenya Airports Police Unit boss Grace Kaindi was third.
Kimaiyo holds two bachelor’s degrees – one in Theology from Beacon University of Institute Ministry, USA, and another in Criminal Administration from the University of South Africa.
He also holds a Masters in Theology and is currently pursuing a PhD in Criminology and Social Order at the University of Nairobi.
Appointments of the two deputy inspector general nominees Ndegwa Muhoro and Samuel Arachi are also in the offing and will be gazetted soon.
Muhoro who is the current CID director has been nominated to be in charge of the regular police, while Arachi will serve in the Administration Police which he currently heads.