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Kibaki went rogue on police appointments

EDITORIAL
By - | January 29th 2013

Coming on the heels of the chaotic nominations by political parties, the unilateral appointment of three persons as Deputy Inspector Generals of the regular and Administration police respectively and a Director of the Criminal Investigation Department was depressing.

President Kibaki has quite rightly received plenty of praise for his record on the economy, particularly infrastructure development.

He has also been lauded for helping push for the enactment of the new Constitution.

As he heads into retirement, one would have hoped the Head of State would avoid making the wrong kind of waves. While we only have Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s word that he did not consent to the names, he does have the advantage of history because in past instances where there was a similar standoff, he was proven right.

The other reason why the President is not looking good on this one is the rejection of some of the names by the Independent Police Oversight Authority Chairman Macharia Njeru.

Post-election violence

As the body mandated to oversee reform of the National Police Service, his is a powerful adjunct to the condemnation from the PM’s office.

The Office of the President has been on the wrong side of popular opinion, independent commissions and the Judiciary over appointments, the most recent being the unilateral decision to appoint county commissioners.

Clearly, the temptation to roil the Grand Coalition Government one last time was too exciting to resist.

It was important that the two principals agree on this one since police were accused of being partisan during the last presidential contest that left over 1,000 Kenyans dead and hundreds more brutalised or displaced from their homes.

The absence of Parliament is immaterial as the police oversight body must make the final decision.

Now it is up to Njeru and his team to decide how best to deal with the matter, and the law is on their side.

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