, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – The much awaited vetting of the country’s police officers has finally kicked off with the launch of the exercise which will start with senior officers this week.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku said 31 senior officers in the ranks of Senior Deputy Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner would undergo vetting this month before those in the lower ranks are examined for their suitability as well.
“The vetting will not only give Kenyans men and women who are qualified to serve but will also give confidence to officers of lower ranks who look upon them for direction and leadership,” he said on Monday.
Lenku argued that the vetting process would weed out officers who do not have passion for their work and result to a police service that is well trained, properly remunerated and well equipped to handle rising challenges of insecurity.
The exercise is expected to continue for the next 18 months during which all police officers will be interviewed for suitability.
“I wish to encourage all officers to take the exercise positively and to appreciate that the Inspector General, his two deputies and the Director of Criminal Investigations were subjected to the same process,” observed Lenku.
He at the same time urged the National Police Service Commission, which will be conducting the process, not to make the exercise a witch hunt but to instead ensure that it was fairly conducted.
“As the Commission takes the police officers through the vetting process I urge them to follow due process and ensure that the process is objective, transparent and fair to all officers,” he said.
Lenku also revealed that The National Treasury had already set aside money that would be used to pay the terminal benefits of those who would be dropped from the force if they are found to be unfit for public service.
He further urged members of the public to share any information about any of the senior officers who are due to be vetted.
“The process has been approved by the Cabinet and the Treasury is providing the necessary resources for those who will not successfully go through that process,” he said.
Some police officers, who are still in the force, have in some instances been found to be engaging in various illegalities including theft. Others, who have left the force, have also been found to be taking part in criminal activities.
Last week Lenku said that the government would continue monitoring such officers and those found culpable would be charged.