By George Nyongesa
03 - 10 December 2014
The latest attack in Kenya Photo courtesy
Pursuant to the “Usalama Ni Shauri Yangu” philosophy that President Uhuru has now made a government security policy, We, the People of Kenya, exercising our sovereign power, hereby demand an overhaul of the leadership, command and organizational structure of the National Police Service.
The following recommendations are a demonstration that strictly speaking, in the kind of state of nature that we currently are in, yes, our security is our responsibility. These are not speculative propositions but grounded-considered-opinion as laid out in the Constitution of Kenya (2010).
The framers of our Constitution provided for a single, integrated, reformed, restructured and credible law and order enforcement organ called the National Police Service. They did not provide for the fragments known as the Kenya Police Service and the Administration Police Service. In our understanding therefore, these “fragments” represent the first line of the problem of policing in this country. Get rid of these fragments, merge them!
A police force is a constituted body of persons empowered by the state to enforce the law, protect property, and limit civil disorder, all within constitutional parameters. To achieve these objectives, it is important that those in policing must have good soft skills of leadership, empathy, passion, dynamism etc and an augmentation of hard skills of expertise, innovation, creativity and professional knowledge. Upon even a casual assessment of our police sector from top to bottom, there is nothing consistent about their policing soft or hard skills apart from their inconsistency. No doubt, ALL our police require training in policing of a civil society like ours.
We the People, hereby direct the police appointing authority – Mr. President - to promptly replace the current top officer with an individual that is appropriately and highly skilled, with professional expertise in leadership, security and law and a performance record of relevant accomplishment and proven results management. Additionally, we strongly recommend immediate police restructuring as follows. There should be two Inspector General deputies, namely for: Strategy and Operations, and Administration and Logistics.
We want the top-heavy, bloated police bureaucracy to be dissolved into a lean, clean, effective and efficient command structure. In this reorganization and reordering of police, representatives of the tired past era should be retired for public interest for lack of 21st Century ideas of making policing better.
Similarly the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Service needs urgent reform. Crime investigation department can remain a part of the National Police Service but should be thoroughly reformed and reorganized into a fully-fledged, autonomous, crime intelligence and law enforcement hub under the Inspector General and his two deputies. This directorate should be well equipped, resourced and populated with competent crime detection personnel. The critical part of personnel reorganization should focus on achieving “rapid response” to crime alerts. In reforming the crime investigation department, it is imperative that Ndegwa Muhoro remains an integral part of the problem that must go. It is public knowledge that his allegiance is apparently to his appointing friends and their interests, not to the people of Kenya. Consequently, he should be retired immediately and fast to allow the air of reforms and betterment of policing service to flow.
Further, in line with the Constitution of Kenya (2010), we want the National Police Service to be devolved to the County level. This means, that the national structures should be replicated at the County level but the line of command should be answerable to the Inspector General. This County police leadership, command and security spokesperson structure should be headed by a County Police Officer- IN-Charge appointed on merit competitively by the National Police Service Commission. The Officer-IN-Charge will chair the County Policing and Law Enforcement Technical Committee. Additionally, County policing and security authority should be strengthened and fully operationalised under the chairmanship of the County Governor. The authority will be involved in review of all county-related security priority issues. The Policing and Law Enforcement Technical Committee under the Officer-IN-Charge will be responsible and answerable in implementation of the Authority’s recommendations and decisions and other law enforcement operations in the County.
Since there are people who have been hypnotized, indoctrinated and misguided to baselessly believe that it is not possible to devolve security to County level management, it is important here to restate that the Officer-IN-Charge is accountable to Office of the Inspector General, National Police Service Commission and County Authority. As part of reforms and in line with modern policing trends, the Officer-IN-Charge should be required to publish a County Security and Law Enforcement monthly report.
In addition, we also recommend that the national policing budget should be prepared by the National Police Service Commission and charged directly from the Consolidated Fund. It is the Commission that should manage the Fund. For transparency and accountability purposes, and indeed as is norm in developed countries’ policing practice, the Commission and Office of Inspector General should be required to publish annual reports on their expenditure, and lay out their priorities and plans of national policing.
Finally, President Uhuru, we expect you to take these recommendations seriously since they are properly anchored and guided by your directives of #OurSecurityOurChoices and #UsalamaWakoShauriYako. In matters our security, it is important that you restrain yourself from blaming Opposition and foreigners, to do that is but chasing a black cat in dark room. Just rebuild confidence among citizens; assures us of change, and demonstrate that your policy guidelines to your technocrats are guided by ground reality. We believe these proposals if implemented alongside bread and butter matters of salaries and remuneration, risk and health insurance, housing and continuous refreshers and in-house training, will rejuvenate national policing and empower the police to effectively perform their constitutional mandate of securing our life, liberty, property and pursuit of happiness.
George Nyongesa is a citizen of Kenya from Busia County