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All eyes on Nkaissery, police chiefs as country gears up for poll

By Cyrus Ombati | January 2nd 2017
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery. (Photo: Courtesy)

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and security chiefs will be the people to watch as the country heads to the next General Election.

Security is key for credible elections in any set-up and their skills will be needed to manage the institutions mandated to provide the services.

Apart from Nkaissery, the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, his deputies Joel Kitili, Samuel Arachi and Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro and National Intelligence Service boss Philip Kameru will be the people to watch.

Heads of Kenya Wildlife Service, Prisons, National Youth Service and Kenya Forest Service will also be needed to provide their personnel to provide security.

Already, temperatures are rising ahead of the campaign period with hopes they will be peaceful.

The security agencies are increasing their tools to enable them handle the situation and not to be overwhelmed as they were in 2007/8. More personnel are expected after the graduation of at least 10,000 recruits from police colleges in February, 2017.

Police officers have so far been told to be ready to manage public protests ahead of the 2017 General Election.

Kitili said police conduct must demonstrate ability to deal with every situation but within the confines of the law.

“With increased political activity, we shall be expected to manage protests effectively but with restraint and proportional use of force. Remember police reactions are part and parcel of the democratic process. Our conduct must demonstrate our capability to deal with every situation but within the confines of the law,” he said.

Kitili told police to always enforce the law fairly ahead of the heightened political activities as he ordered the arrest of inciters and hatemongers.

He said there will be no repeat of the 2007/8 post-election violence.

He told police to prepare well and handle the situation before any violence breaks out.

“As we approach the General Election, we do so with a vivid hindsight of experience which happened right here. The post-election violence of 2007/8 was a lesson well learnt and which needs no repeating. We must not wait for the election date to tame violence,” he said.

But within the service, officers have identified 32 counties where violence may occur before, during and after the elections.

They are currently lobbying for various measures to be put in place to address the menace.

Kitili told his juniors to be vigilant and deal firmly with anyone who may dare to incite the public.

“Expedite swift investigations and arrest without fear or favour,” he said.

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