With the increasing rot in the country’s security sector, attention has now shifted to the highest level of police hierarchy where the rot is believed to have found a permanent home. Matters have not also been helped by a president who talks more and acts less.
The country is at the throws of terror gangs. Lurking in the shadows of dark Nairobi corners and lightened streets are new gangs roaming free and abducting all and sundry. Just recently, an aide to Deputy President William Ruto was abducted meters away from State House.
This weekend, Kenyans received with shock the attack at a worship place in Mombasa which has left at least 4 people dead.
Amidst this deteriorating spectre of violence, security analysts contend that the National Police Service enjoys full constitutional insulation to defend the country but a protracted phoney war of control of the police force by a clique of top officers is distracting this goal.
To observers, this war, pitting Inspector General of the police David Kimaiyo and his group against the National Police Service Commission is being used to prove the constitution isn’t working.
“Kimaiyo, Mutea Iringo and others at the Office of the President want to show the constitution provisions governing police cannot work.Â This is for personal reasons not for the interest of the country,” says Ndung’u Wainaina, a security policy expert and human rights activist.
Ndung’u argues the Constitution provisions governing police are about addressing the historical mismanagement and misuse of the police.
“Kimaiyo and his backers want to retain the status quo by undermining the constitution and radical police transformation. Provincial administration was constitutionally abolished and replaced with devolved system of governance,” adds Wainaina.
National Police Service has exclusive mandate on internal security of the country. Police officers are answerable and accountable to the people of Kenya, the Constitution, NPSC and IGP not some illegal entity known as “Provincial administration”. National Police service is not longer beholden by call and beck of politicians and or order from above.
The reforms introduced by the Constitution including establishing NPSC is the best interest of police officers. It would ensure their interests are taken care independent of manipulation. It would ensure equal opportunity for career growth of officers and their welfare. Kenyans were clear about this matter.
Constitution requires full decentralization of the police service. While the IGP retains overall command of the service, the officer in charge of police at the County is accountable for security conditions in the County.
Under the Constitution, the new policing and law enforcement system apart from establishing independent operational autonomy, the constitution envisions decentralization of police service to the lowest point close to the people. For instance, a sub location should have full-fledged police sub-station. This is consistent with constitutional requirement that County governments devolve their services as close to the people as possible. There has to be a matching structure of security, which is answerable to the IGP through the office of the County police in charge.