By CYRUS OMBATI
Women leaders want adequate security during the General Elections slated for next year.
They proposed a force of 90,000 security officers to man all polling centres and stations across the country.
The figure, however, surpasses the police population of about 70,000 officers.
The Commissioner of Police Mathew Iteere can invoke powers to request for additional reinforcement from the Prison Service, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Forestry Service and National Youth Service during such special events.
Under Women Political Leadership on Peaceful and Transparent Elections, the leaders on Friday said the presence of enough officers would guarantee free and fair elections.
Iteere who was a guest speaker assured of adequate security and asked the public to co-operate and shun acts of violence akin to those witnessed in the last general election.
Iteere said despite the limbo hanging over the appointment of the Inspector General to head the Police Service, his officers would co-operate to ensure that the two offices were in place ahead of the elections.
“What we now see as our challenge is to continue laying the ground so that when these offices are finally in place, they will take over a process that is moving towards the right direction,” noted Iteere.
He told Kenyans not to panic because the police understood their role of protecting the country’s sovereignty saying every citizen was free to make political choices including the right to participate in political activities and voting.
The police boss assured that officers were duty-bound to act in defence of democratic rights of Kenyans to decide on how they are governed irrespective of gender inclinations.
“In security, including intimidation and human rights violations negatively affects voter and candidate participation, and electoral administration. It therefore follows that in an election, the role of the police service is the protection of democracy itself. It is a vital obligation on the part of every policeman and woman, and it cannot be taken away.”