, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 16 – The government has commissioned 500 assorted police vehicles in the third phase of the police vehicle leasing programme – an initiative geared towards improving the capabilities of the National Police Service (NPS).
Speaking during a ceremony to launch the vehicles at the Uhuru Park in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the additional vehicles will enhance security countrywide by ensuring police officers respond to emergencies swiftly.
“Enhanced mobility has gone a long way in enabling our police to provide security which no doubt is an imperative to sustainable socio-economic development,” noted President Kenyatta.
According to President Kenyatta, the decline in criminal gangs and terror-related activities witnessed early 2013 was as result of poor capacity of the police, a problem that has since been rooted out due to increased investments towards police vehicles and equipment.
“One of the glaring gaps was the lack of means of transport that hampered the effectiveness of the police,” he observed. “In 2013, the NPS had in its strength, only 3,155 vehicles countrywide most of which were in a state of disrepair. Under the NPS vehicle leasing programme, 1,200 vehicles were acquired in the first phase, an additional 1,000 vehicles in the second phase and today we’ve received another 500 vehicles which bring the total number of vehicles acquired under this programme to 2,720.”
President Kenyatta also unveiled 30 Armoured Personal Carriers (APCs) and 25 mine-resistant Armoured Personal Carriers (MRPs) to help counter terrorism in the country. According to the President, the MRPs will be deployed in anti-terror police operations across the country in order to effectively deal with cases of insecurity witnessed in the past owing to incursions by terrorists.
“My administration procured 30 APCs, which have improved police capabilities and response. We’ve also procured an additional 25 MRPs which will be deployed to regions that require such equipment,” he said.
On aerial surveillance, the government has so far acquired two additional police helicopters up from one helicopter and two fixed wing planes that existed in 2013. According to Kenyatta, additional four police helicopters will be acquired by July, to further increase the aerial capabilities of the NPS.
President Kenyatta challenged the security forces to remain vigilant in discharging their mandate by dealing firmly with individuals attempting to stoke tension in the electioneering period whether Kenyans or foreigners.
“Deal firmly with incitement by any Kenyan or foreigner, regardless of their political affiliations,” he directed.
President Kenyatta was accompanied by Interior Cabinet Secretary Major General (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery, his Treasury counterpart Henry Rotich, National Police Service Commission Chairperson (NPSC) Johnston Kavuludi, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and CID Chief Ndegwa Muhoro.