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"The lack of an emergency number hampers the ability of the police to fight crime," Omtatah had stated in his application/FILE

Kenya

CCK gets directive on toll free emergency number

"The lack of an emergency number hampers the ability of the police to fight crime," Omtatah had stated in his application/FILE

“The lack of an emergency number hampers the ability of the police to fight crime,” Omtatah had stated in his application/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has been directed to initiate dialogue with operators of telephone companies to facilitate an emergency toll free number.

Justice David Majanja issued the directive on Friday during the hearing of the case lodged by civil society activist Okiya Omtatah who wants the government to create an emergency response number.

Justice Majanja added that CCK should work together with the National Police Service and directed the Attorney General and nine others who have been named as respondents to file their responses within 21 days.

“The lack of an emergency number hampers the ability of the police to fight crime,” Omtatah had stated in his application.

Omtatah had further indicated that the lack of an emergency number was an impediment to the efficient and effective day-to-day administration and operations of the Kenya Police Service.

“When Akobwait Village of Teso South District, Busia County, was attacked by a marauding gang which left death and destruction in its wake, I was forced to call the Inspector General of the National Police Service and the Director of CID on their personal mobile numbers because the ‘999? police emergency response number is defunct,” he argued.

The court has however struck out the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) from the proceedings after it held that CIC is not a necessary party to the matter.

Further directions and orders will be given on July 5 when the case will be heard again.

The human rights activist had moved to court seeking orders to compel government agencies to facilitate a toll free police emergency number following the rise of insecurity in the country.

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He had also asked the court to order a full disclosure by the respondents why they have failed to provide a toll free police emergency response number.

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