NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 4 – A parliamentary committee has cited the slow pace of reviewing the terms and conditions for the recruitment, remuneration and deployment of Kenya Police Reservists as a hindrance to winning the war against cattle rustling.
Speaking during a fact-finding mission in West Pokot County, Committee on Implementation of House Resolutions Chairperson Soipan Tuya said the process of professionalising the service had been slow thereby negating the reforms envisaged by Parliament when it passed amendments establishing terms of service for KPRs.
“It is our considered view that this non-implementation is a great hindrance to winning the war against cattle rustling. The government needs to oversee speedy reforms in the management of KPRs if peace and security is to be enhanced in arid and semi-arid lands,” said Tuya.
Two years ago, the National Assembly passed a resolution where the Interior Ministry would be required to review the working conditions of the KPRs to provide them with uniforms, proper identification documents, automatic firearms, regular allowances and general improvement of their working conditions.
This was in a bid to restructure the Kenya Police Reservists to adequately equip them, to fight cattle rustling efficiently.
“We are interested in evaluating the process of selection of the Kenya Police Reservists, their training status, how their integrity is protected and in examining the determination process for their placement and deployment,” added the chairperson.
But according to the committee, the ministry said it had experienced challenges in implementing the resolutions and had recommended a legislative and institutional framework of the reservists.
Tuya said they had since urged the national government to prioritize the development of a policy to guide the recruitment of the officers so that good standing people in the community were selected adding that the ministry to adopting the operationalisation of the policy framework to improve the management of the reservists and make them effective in their role of curbing the cattle rustling menace.
Tuya further called upon the government to continuously offer the KPR officers training and boost their capacity to eradicate the plague of cattle rustling which has cost the country many lives.
“We are also keen to ensure that these officers are treated with dignity and provided with the necessary equipment to enable them work efficiently,” she went on to state.
Early in May, 75 people were killed in four days of cattle raids and revenge attacks in Turkana and East Pokot districts.
Since then, there have been proposals to declare cattle rustling a capital offence such that those found guilty face a death sentence.
Just a day ago, the Interior Cabinet Secretary announced major changes in the country’s administration which he said would be instrumental in countering terror, bring to an end cattle rustling and also deal with illicit brew.