Uhuru pledges secure polls as 4,000 police graduate

President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a parade when he presided over the Kenya Police Service recruits passing out in Kiganjo, Nyeri County.

Close to 4,000 police recruits have been added to the internal security workforce, following their graduation from Kiganjo Police Training College Friday.

The recruits get into the force at a time the country is grappling with numerous internal security challenges that have in the recent past resulted in multiple operations in different regions.

Speaking at the passing out parade, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the government has ably equipped the Kenya Police Service in an ongoing modernisation programme, warning that those intending to cause a breach of peace and tranquility will be dealt with accordingly.

“In return for all this investment, the Police Service will too need to do its part; re-dedicate itself to the ideal of Utumishi Kwa Wote,” the President said.

He asked the recruits to execute their mandate professionally and not let down Kenyans.

Kenyan security agencies have been on the spot before over allegations of extrajudicial killings. Late last month, a report by rights body, Amnesty International, ranked Kenya top in Africa in cases of police shootings and killing of civilians.

According to the report, some 122 extrajudicial killings had been reported in Kenya out of 177 cases in Africa.

Friday, President Kenyatta asked the graduates to keep off vices that taint the image of the police service.

“Many in the service have laid their lives in the line of duty. Emulate them,” he advised.

Although the President did not address the raging insecurity in Rift Valley and parts of Eastern and North Eastern regions, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery warned those inciting residents into violence that the government will deal with them firmly.

“We are committed to ensuring the country is secure and elections will be conducted peacefully. Those who go against this will only have themselves to blame,” said Nkaissery.

The CS said the government has provided the needed machinery to ensure all Kenyans are safe before, during and after the August 8 elections.

President Kenyatta said Kenya had surpassed the UN recommended police to members of the public ratio of 1:450. He said with the entry into the force of the 10,000 police officers recruited last year, Kenya will boast of a ratio of one police officer to 380 members of the public.

“Also take note that we will recruit 10,000 more police officers by May this year,” he said.

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said those to join the forces this years will be trained using a new manual derived from various countries and covers areas of emerging criminal activities, including cybercrime, drugs and war tactics.