Civil society opposed to changes in police acts

August 4, 2013 1:09 pm
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The National Police Service Amendment Bill proposes to make the Inspector General responsible for all matters touching on the command, deployment and discipline of the Service. CFM.
The National Police Service Amendment Bill proposes to make the Inspector General responsible for all matters touching on the command, deployment and discipline of the Service. CFM.
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 4- Members of the civil society organisations are now calling on the government to investigate cases of threats and intimidation among their leaders.

Through the National Civil Society Congress leader Moris Odhiambo, they claim for the last one month most of them have been receiving numerous threatening and intimidating text messages.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Odhiambo urged the police to take the matter seriously because all the cases have been reported to them.

“SMS threats have come to a number of us including myself and I reported to Kileleshwa police station on Friday .We don’t think it is helping to take that route. We think it is important for our leadership to give everyone a voice and assuring protection,” Odhiambo told journalists.

The activists said they are worried the threats may be a way of trying to silence them from highlighting key issues affecting Kenyans.

“Targeting civil society organisations and individuals will not sort out the problems we have in this country. In fact, that will only compound the problem. Let everyone air out issues that are affecting this country freely,” he said.

One of the activists Boaz Waruku said he is worried since receiving the threatening message.

“On the August 1, 2013 at 15:04 hours, I received a text message written; ‘if you think you are so clever ensure you don’t cross the line once and forever. Your days are numbered and I will ensure you see what you have never seen before. You will realy regret,” he said “Do you expect somebody to rest nicely at home after that text.”

They have now called on the Ministry of interior and coordination of national government to thoroughly investigate the source of the messages.

Meanwhile, the lobby groups want parliament to vote down the proposed amendments to the National Police Service and the National Police service Commission Acts.

They are specifically opposed to making the office of the Inspector General of Police more powerful than that of the National Police Service Commission that is led by Johnstone Kavuludi.

Florence Kanyua, an official in the civil society group, said the move will undermine the intended purpose of the National Police service Commission of ensuring transparency and accountability in the actions of the police hence compromise on security.

“With the reforms that Kenyans want to see in the police force, I don’t think giving the Inspector General powers will help. The amendments they want to do are not acceptable to us,” she protested.
The National Police Service Amendment Bill proposes to make the Inspector General responsible for all matters touching on the command, deployment and discipline of the Service.

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