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Police in crisis talks over damning Maraga report

National
 Former Chief Justice David Maraga hands over a report by the task force on Police reforms to President William Ruto at State House, Nairobi. [PCS]

The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) has called for a meeting on Tuesday, next week after Justice David Maraga led taskforce indicted them in a report presented to the President last Thursday.

The meeting, which was aborted on Tuesday after some commissioners failed to turn up, is supposed to pore through the recommendations some of which say they ought to step aside.

The taskforce report that will now guide reforms in the police service, prisons and NYS only fell short of calling for the disbandment of the Eliud Kinuthia-led NPSC.

In their final report, the taskforce said the NPSC had failed to deliver in their human resource docket as dictated by the Constitution and that their functions had been usurped by the police commanders.

“Regrettably, however, the NPSC leadership has acquiesced to the continued usurpation of its functions by the NPS leadership, thereby exacerbating the vices that it was established to redress,” the report said in part.

“It has also generally been unable to develop policies and institute measures that would enable it to perform its constitutional and statutory obligations. The taskforce has been left with no option but to recommend that Government considers a negotiated exit, or any other legally recognised modality, for the current commissioners of NPSC,” the report said of the work of the commission.

Stung by these accusations by the Maraga team, the commission is now considering putting up their defense in effort to stop their removal from office.

“We had to call off the meeting at the last minute because some of the commissioners were not available,” said an official at the commission’s ofiices.

Asked on what is the next cause of action, Kinuthia said his committee would issue a statement on the matter at a later date. “We will speak on the matter later,” Kinuthia told the Standard on phone.

Other recommendation the Maraga team made include: Increasing funding to the National Police. The funds will be used for police modernisation, buying of equipments. They also want the budget for fuel increased depending on the operation being undertaken. Justice Maraga also called for the improvement of physical and operational infrastructure at police training colleges and police station levels. He urged the goverment to deal with institutionalised corruption within the National Police. He also called for removal of police roadblocks meant for detecting traffic offenses within six months and recommended they be replaced with mobile patrol units.

Sources familiar with the agenda of yesterday’s, meeting told the Standard the commissioners had lined up among other issues the taskforce report for discussion.

The meeting was attended by all commissioners including the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome and his two deputies. DCI boss Mohammed Amin was also present.

The sources said the commission also deliberated on issues that they plan to implement immediately as directed by President William Ruto last Thursday when he received the taskforce report.

The head of state directed the police command to commence the full implementation of the recommendations and also called on parliament to initiate laws to the issues that require parliamentary approval.

The taskforce has identified four areas that are a big headache in the security sector. This include: Inefficient leadership, structural and organisational weaknesses, Corruption and lack of funding and resources were the main challenges hindering service delivery in the security sector.

The taskforce found that the leadership of the security services lacked objectivity for excellent service delivery and was highly impacted by external factors like political interference.

The report proposes limiting the service duration in a county to not more than three years, restricting intake to constable and cadet levels to have a clear direction for career progression.

The task force has also recommended that the National Youth Service should be the Ministry of Interior for better coordination.

There is also a recommendation for the creation of “the Disciplined and Security Services Sector” comprising the Kenya Defence Forces, National Intelligence Service, National Police Service, Kenya Prison Service, and National Youth Service as a separate budget sector.

 A further indictment on the police was brought to the fore in the National Security report tabled to Parliament by President William Ruto in which he note the security situation in the country has deteriorated. The 65-page report was tabled by President Ruto pursuant to requirements of Article 240 (7) of the Constitution and Section 16(1) of the National Security Council Act.

It underscores some quite uncomfortable truths, including the fact that general crime has increased by 16.7 percent in the last one year, that religious extremism has bounced back, and cyber-threats to critical government infrastructure are blossoming.

A total of 100,651 crime cases we reported in the last one year, compared to 86,271 in the previous year, mostly perpetrated by persons between the age group of 30 and 44 years.

Kamagira criminal gang topped the list of criminal gangs whose activities are on police radar. The group had the highest suspects arrested at 587 followed by Confirm gang at 295.

In the report, the government confesses that investment in cybersecurity measures have not kept pace with the dynamism that characterises digital technologies thus exposing individuals as well as the public and private corporates to cyber threats and attacks.

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