SECTIONS

Police vetting process set to be conducted at the counties

By SILAH KOSKEI

Kenya: The ongoing security operations to combat terrorism in the country has necessitated vetting exercise of regional police officers at county level to enhance efficiency.

According to the national police service commission Chairperson Johnstone Kavuludi, the vetting process will proceed as planned at designated counties in order to ensure that the force remains relevant in containing terror.

He said the vetting process will be taken down to the counties so that police officers are not interrupted from their duties when they are called for vetting in Nairobi.

Speaking in Eldoret during police sensitization on the vetting process, Kavuludi through commissioner Ronald Mutengi maintained that the exercise at the counties is set to commence in three weeks’ time.

“We have identified areas where officers will be vetted at the counties, this is because we do not want their services to be interrupted at the backdrop of imminent threats from terrorism in the country,” he said.

He added that the exercise to be done at the county level will also offer opportunity to the public to contribute by asking questions and also providing information on the services they receive from the department.

Mombasa County followed by Machakos then to the rest of other counties across the country.

“It will be of no use to subject officers to a vetting exercise in Nairobi. The public have a right to know more about them at the regions of their jurisdiction in the respective counties,” he added.

He said officers who will opt for the process should understand that it is a process created under the law and not by the commission.

“For those who do not want to appear before the commission, they should understand that the law provides for one to opt out and retire from the force in case they have their own reasons against the process,” he added.

The commissioner stated that the team has carried out sensitization exercises on officers in Kisumu, Western Kenya, Mombasa and Machakos counties on the need to educate them on its importance in line with the police Act and on how the vetting process will be rolled out.

Commisioner Murshid Mohammed who was also present in Eldoret also noted that the vetting process is meant to restore confidence in police service as well as give officers an opportunity to defend themselves from claims presented against them before a panel.

“The exercise is meant to demystify wild perceptions circulated around that the commission seeks to victimize officers who will undergo vetting. Our focus is to provide fair hearing and give recommendations to the President,” he said.

He revealed that over 1000 police superintendents will be among the first to undergo the planned countrywide vetting exercise before the rest takes the tow in a process, which will see incompetent officers removed from the service.

Mohammed who is also the chairperson of the traffic committee stated that the commission is currently setting up structures to ensure that officers have improved living conditions and favourable scheme of service.

“In the next financial year, the government through the commission is set to construct 20,000 housing units for its officers spread across the country,” he stated.