, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has welcomed the nomination of Joel Kitili as the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of regular police.
The authority’s Chairman Macharia Njeru says he had even called for the removal of Grace Kaindi, who was retired after attaining the mandatory age of 60, accusing her of incompetence.
“We as IPOA have been of the position that the outgoing Deputy Inspector General is incompetent and she has not been able to manage the Kenya Police Service to the required standards,” he said.
Speaking to Capital FM News on Thursday evening, Njeru said it is time amendments were made to remove the clause calling for gender rule in the top police leadership, and instead use merit.
“Do you give somebody just because of gender and you are dealing with matters security?” he posed. “You can’t do that … and again if you are applying that against the police, why are you not applying in the Kenya Defence Forces or Kenya Prison Service?”
He said gender parity should only be reflected in the entire National Police Service without necessarily having to reserve specific positions for either gender.
“Security is not about gender. It is about ability; whoever has the requisite ability,” he said. “This has hampered security. Women are capable just like men but let it be purely a position that is earned arising from merit.”
Macharia, said it would not be fair to expect the police to perform and yet put gender hurdles.
“Let us talk about gender mainstreaming in the entire police service. Let us not insist that specific positions must be given to certain gender,” he said.
“Even if I was to stand alone, I will still repeat the same pronouncement. Why do we want to create provisions that do not make any sense? Let us not come up with provisions that do not make sense either practically or otherwise.”
Several organisations, including the National Gender Commission have threatened to move to court unless President Uhuru Kenyatta reverses his decision to nominate Kitili instead of replacing Kaindi with a woman.
The Opposition has also demanded the decision to be withdrawn terming it ill advised, unconstitutional and a move to kill independent offices and commissions.
A case was also lodged in court Thursday against Kaindi’s removal.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery however said there was no police woman to replace Kaindi.
“What happens if there is no woman to take over? Joel Kitili is on an acting capacity and the National Police Service will look at the process. As it stands now, there is no senior police woman and therefore that position cannot be left vacant,” Nkaissery explained when asked why no woman was appointed to replace Kaindi.