NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – The government is planning to reduce the number of police officers deployed to guard VIPs.
Police Spokesman Charles Owino says deliberations are underway to agree on the specific number of officers to remain on the VIP protection unit – including those guarding MPs, Senators, Governors and other big shots.
“Security is not only for the VIPs but for all Kenyans, the VIPs will be given the services according to their needs. We cannot deploy all officers for the VIPs and leave the citizens without protection,” Owino said.
Currently, there are over 5,000 police officers specifically tasked to guard VIPs -representing five percent of the total police population of about 90,000.
Owino says the move is aimed at increasing the number of police officers available to protect the rest of Kenyans across the country.
“We will work with what we have, to give the best service to Kenyans, as we wait for the government to provide more resources,” he explained.
Owino also revealed that the ongoing operation in Garissa will not stop but will be scaled down depending on the situation in the area.
Owino however said the police will observe the rights of the populace especially women and children.
In the past, the force has been accused of using excessive force, raping women and children in other operations.
“Are we listening to people? Are we investigating our cases professionally? Or does the accused become the complainant? These are the things we are pushing on to ensure that the force is strong, people are honest and the public gets the service the need,” he revealed.
He said the operation was good for the nation and more so to Garissa people who have been hard hit by insecurity.
Owino also appealed to the general public to support the police force by giving any information needed to ensure security of all Kenyans.
“We are currently working out a communication model that will see the general public send messages and calls to the police and have them respond to their issues,” he said.