NAIROBI, Kenya July 5 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has asked police officers to adopt a bottom-up approach in dealing with the public so as to build trust and confidence ahead of the high-stake General Election in 2022.
While acknowledging that the public confidence in agencies tasked with enforcing the law currently stands at 63 percent compared to 29 percent in 2009, Matiangi challenged the officers to strengthen and deepen their interactions with people at the grassroots level.
“Whereas that is a remarkable improvement, I am interested in seeing an over 80 percent level of confidence as we go forward because we work for our people and it does not matter how hard we work if we cannot be able to secure their trust and their confidence,” he said.
He spoke on Monday during a one-day Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai’s Conference that brings together all County and Regional police commanders and other heads of police formations.
The approach of working more with communities, Matiangi underscored, will be critical in averting any violence that may occur during and after the polls.
“We cannot wait for a crisis and we should never be known as enforcers who force users, we should be known as people who work and in communities to foster peace, good relations and that is how we are going to succeed,” he said.
With the 2022 General Election 13 months away, Matiangi noted that it is through such interactions that the country will remain stable and secure during the entire electioneering period.
Matiangi revealed that already a multi-agency team of security personnel has been deployed in areas deemed to be hotspots for possible violence before and after the polls.
While the team traverses the country to assess the security situation and suppress any rogue elements who will be out to cause chaos, Matiangi asked the officers not to be intimidated as they perform their duties.
“You are Kenyans, do not be intimidated and let us not give in to anything that will hurt the stability and security of our country. I ask you to be firm and decisive to ensure that the law is followed,” he said.
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho gave assurances that the police will do their work effectively to ensure that Kenya is fully secured.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has since warned that it will bar politicians and any other Kenyan found to be inciting others or exhibiting wrong behaviour from seeking any elective seat in 2022.
The Commission had in 2020 established a Wall of Fame that captures names of individuals who have good and bad character. According to the commission’s chairperson Samuel Kobia, anybody who appears in the list three times will be barred from contesting in any seat.
In February, NCIC listed former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, MPs Simba Arati (Dagoretti North), Johanna Ngeno (Emurua Dikir) and Silvanus Osoro (South Mugirango) in its inaugural Wall of Shame list.