Unknown to many people, David Kimaiyo, was the head of Police operations during the heinous crimes committed by the police after the 2008/07 post election violence. Â One of his deputies, Grace Kaindi, was the provincial commandant in Kisumu who ordered the killing of peaceful protesters after the 2007 rigged elections.
One would have expected that these police officers, owing to this particular history, would have been ‘retired’ to pave way for a new breed of officers, whom the populations they serve have no qualms with, or, at least, no sad history with.
Kimaiyo would be suspended briefly, but returned to the force after the new constitution.
During the vetting, Kimaiyo was not the highest scorer. The vetting itself had been marred by accusations of concentrating on financial history of police officers and completely disregarded the other important facets of the police, especially on issues to do with the rule of law and human rights.
More egregiously, the two deputies of Kimaiyo, Kaindi and Karachi, as well as members of a quasi-security outfit called ‘Nyumba Kumi’ also became penalists of the vetting board.
The resultant effect was that these bodies conspired to maintain the status quo while giving a facade of reforms that never were, and never ought to be.
The constitution and the Police Act specified that members of the Kenya Police Service must be vetted on competence and suitability, with a focus on professionalism, performance, discipline, human rights record and qualifications (academic and training). Instead, the entire process had focused on anything but competence and suitability, with a bias to perceptions of corruption on the bases of the content of bank statements.
The new police force (renamed nicely as ”police service”) ended up having some of the worst officers in so far as human rights records are concerned.
However, with insecurity increasing, and Kenya facing a worse foe in the name of Al shabaab, the current security apparatus, as well as the system of command and authority in the defence forces, cannot secure Kenyans.
There is need to do away with the whole police apparatus which oversaw the ghosts of the 2007/08 post-election violence. Too many senior police officers who oversaw the 2007/08 post election violence are in this police service. They are too insensitive to the challenges facing Kenyans today, and, too ‘powerful’ to be fired by President Uhuru, who owe his presidency to these uniformed officers rather than the people of Kenya.