State plans to embark on police reforms plan from next month

Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

The government plans to implement police reforms beginning next month as it moves to improve the welfare and working conditions of officers.

Speaking on Thursday during a breakfast meeting with development partners in Nairobi, Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo said the government has committed about Sh6.5 billion in the next financial year for the implementation of reforms.

"Within the National Police Service, Kenya Prison Service (KPS) and National Youth Service (NYS) is a budget line of about Sh6.5 billion, committed in the current and next financial years," Dr Omollo said. 

Omollo said the forum that brought together both government agencies dealing with security and independent partners, including the United Nations, sought to evaluate the progress made in the implementation process.

Omollo noted that implementation of the reform process at initial stages has realised  65 per cent for NYS, 42 per cent for prisons while police is at 37 per cent. 

"Today was to appraise our development partners on the framework that we have worked on over the last couple of months and the inputs of government agencies,"  he stated. 

The PS noted that the retired Chief Justice David Maraga-led taskforce identified 598 reform proposals including 271 on police, 210 for NYS and 117 on prisons. 

The National Inter-Agency Steering Committee then identified 291 that could be implemented through administrative action without financial implication.

The implementation committee, chaired by the PS, has categorised the proposals into four main issues: operational readiness, logistical actions and capacity building as well as leadership, oversight and accountability.  

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative Antony Ngororano lauded the progress Kenya has made in streamlining the security sector. 

“Congratulations for coming up with the strategic framework within a short period and setting up the reform unit as well as setting up the national steering committee to guide the process,” he said.

While exuding confidence in the strategic framework, United Kingdom High Commissioner Neil Wigan said the British government is keen to support Kenya in the initiative to transform the lives of police officers. 

“We commend the progress made in the short period,” said Wigan.