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MPs considering Bill to introduce pocketless police uniforms, CCTV cameras to tame bribery

 A traffic police officer waves at a PSV. [File, Standard]

The National Assembly Administration and Security Committee is currently reviewing the Bribery Amendment Bill, which proposes equipping police uniforms with no pockets and installing CCTV cameras to oversee the conduct of traffic police officers.

Sponsored by Bomachoge Borabu Member of Parliament, Obadiah Barongo, the Bill aims to document interactions between law enforcement officers and the public. It authorises the deployment of CCTV cameras on roads to bolster policing efforts and enhance accountability.

Speaking at Parliament Buildings on Tuesday, Barongo emphasised that the bill's objective is to amend the Bribery Act of 2016 by introducing a new section 10 (A) outlining anti-bribery measures for the National Police Service.

“These measures include coordinating CCTV cameras in all areas where traffic police are stationed, taking action against officers who accept bribes in designated areas, commissioning pocketless police uniforms, and ensuring the maintenance of CCTV cameras in specified traffic zones,” he said.

Additionally, the Bill seeks to establish eight multi-agency command centers to store CCTV footage from designated areas. These centers will be staffed by officers nominated by the National Police Service and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA).

The Bribery Act provides a framework for preventing, investigating, and penalising bribery. The scrutiny of proposed legislation by the Budget Committee represents a significant step toward enhancing fiscal alignment and legislative efficiency in Kenya.

According to an analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), the installation of CCTV cameras in all designated traffic management areas nationwide is estimated to cost approximately Sh8 billion.

Recently, the Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC), chaired by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, concluded a two-day retreat to evaluate legislative proposals with significant fiscal implications for the economy.

Following deliberations, the Committee unanimously endorsed several bills, including the Agricultural Professional Registration Bill, 2023; the Public Finance Management (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the Births and Deaths Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the Bribery (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the Chief's (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the Medical Social Workers Bill, 2023; the Livestock Insurance Bill, 2023; the Land (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the Employment (Amendment) Bill, 2023; and the Basic Education (Amendment) Bill, 2023, to progress to the House for debate.

Last week, NPS suspended a traffic police officer who was captured on camera allegedly taking a bribe from matatus in Buruburu, Nairobi. 

In a statement, the police unit said that they had identified the police officer from the viral video.

“The officer, Haron Mwangi, attached to traffic within Buruburu Police Station has been suspended from the Traffic Police Unit with immediate effect, and proceedings for his dismissal are ongoing,” stated NPS.

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