NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 20 – The Interior Principal Secretary nominee Mutea Iringo came under fire from Members of Parliament on Thursday over his interpretation of the role of the National Police Service Commission in relation to that of the Inspector General of Police.
MPs claimed that the National Police Service Amendment Bill will clip the powers of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) and give some of the agency’s powers to the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo.
Dalmas Otieno (Rongo) and Ababu Namwamba (Budalangi) took issue with Iringo’s statement that Kimaiyo should have more powers than the National Police Commission when it came to transferring and promoting police officers.
“The governance structure of the Police Service is correct as placed in the Constitution; the problem is not constitutional its managerial and a matter of human relations,” charged Otieno.
One draft amendment will delete Sub-Section 22 (2) of the National Police Service Act to allow the Inspector General of Police get advice from the Cabinet Secretary as opposed to from NPSC.
Namwamba said the proposed changes reduce the commissions to mere shells and creates a powerful head of police who would be hard to hold accountable.
The Rongo MP said the amendments were aimed at neutralising the oversight role of the NPSC. He said the NPSC is a creation of the Constitution with express functions to recruit, appoint, confirm appointments, and determine promotions and transfers.
“We did not give an overlap without having considered the best way to manage the police force. The overlaps as regards the recruitment, appointment and promotions were deliberate in the sense that the IG has the initiating powers but he must present it to the Commission of which he is a member for approval,” Otieno stated while threatening to shoot down the amendments.
“After that he will have total operational independence to implement what has been approved.”
The former Public Service minister argued that the proposed changes threaten to make policing an individual affair between the Inspector General and the Cabinet Secretary
The PS nominee claimed the government was considering introducing a constitutional amendment after the encountered challenges.
“In the circumstances these are the measures we took and we are emphasising that the NPSC delegates this mandate to the IG so that they are able to operate, but we cannot sit and wait,” Iringo told the House team.
The government is among others seeking the deletion of Section 71 (2) (3) (4) of the NPS Act which will make the Johnstone Kavuludi led NPSC to lose control over the National Police Service in provision of authority to those who want to engage in business and other forms of employment.
Otieno reprimanded the PS and told him to drop the amendment. He told him to develop an operational structure that is in line with the NPSC Act and Constitution.
“Now if you allow two individuals to get out of the governance structure set in the Constitution you get this managerial conflict and if your interpretation is that the problem is constitutional and until it is amended nothing will move, you are taking as back to the old structure,” Rongo MP stated.
Meanwhile, Iringo also clarified that he had applied for the job contrary to reports that he was nominated without having been shortlisted by the Public Service Commission.
Iringo said there is need to fund the security sector more robustly adding that security sector is a cross cutting enabler that provides a conducive environment for investments and also tourism sector.