, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has said the government is saving over Sh700 million in the local production of the new police uniforms by the National Youth Service.
Speaking when he led top government officials to inspect the production progress, the CS said he is happy with the progress so far, with the production of 1000 pairs per day.
“I am happy to be a Kenyan. If we don’t build our country, if we do not build it no one will; I am asking all my cabinet colleagues who need uniforms to make them from here,” he said.
“Why on earth would even import these things which are easily made here; we should focus on promoting local content because in doing so we will create jobs and we cannot promote local manufacturing by the word of the mouth only, we need to put everything into action.”
He was accompanied by Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia who stressed the need for all government departments to embrace the culture of buying locally to support local industries and Kenyans.
“Today is a very special day for all of us as Kenyans because you have seen how far we are and how the production of the uniform is. I also urge all our colleagues and government departments as well as local companies who use uniforms to make them from here and support our own,” she said.
Some 600 National Youth Service tailors are among those entrusted to deliver more than 90,000 pieces for all members of the National Police Service.
All the 60,000 General Duty Officers were expected to wear the new uniform December last year, but it did not happen, raising concerns on local manufacturers capacity to produce the uniforms even as Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi defended them.
Only a few senior officers have been seen wearing the new Persian blue uniform.
Matiangi had in December complained of intense pressure from people he described as “all manner of thieves for the government to import the new police uniform,” on grounds that the local textile industry has no enough material to produce it.
The new uniform was first seen this last year on September 13 at the Kenya School of Government, when President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a set of drastic reforms that included merging Kenya and Administration police services.[cresta-social-share]