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Retired detectives want DCI rebranded, made autonomous

By Cyrus Ombati | March 9th 2020

Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters in Nairobi on Thursday, March 05, 2020. [File, Standard]

A group of retired detectives wants the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to be made autonomous and its name changed to the Kenya Bureau of Investigations (KBI).

According to the National Association of Retired Police Officers-Kenya Chairman and former director of DCI Dr Francis Sang, the move will strengthen the institution to complement the independence of the criminal justice system.

The group made its presentation before the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) secretariat. They argued that the move will enable the DCI to have greater flexibility, specialised skills, and competencies, specialized response units, well-coordinated multi-disciplinary efforts, correct a structural incongruity and global best practices.

“The memorandum articulates a case for the establishment of the Kenya Bureau of Investigations (KBI) as an autonomous constitutional entity. KBI shall be the successor of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI),” they said in their memorandum.

They added KBI is envisioned as a premier institution designed and resourced to protect Kenyans from serious crimes through detection, investigations and also offering advisory services for crime prevention efforts.

According to the association, KBI shall be under the command and control of a Director-General who should be recruited competitively.

“It shall administratively establish specialised units and have offices at the county and sub-county levels,” the memorandum said.

Further, the KBI shall be under the supervision of the National Security Council which shall, in turn, be answerable to Parliament. This aroused reaction from the members of the secretariat who wanted to know why the proposed KBI should not report to the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution or Inspector General of police as it is in the case of USA and UK where similar institutions report to the Attorney General’s office.

The association recommended that the proposed KBI should have constitutional anchorage and independence befitting the central role that it shall place in the maintenance of national peace and security.

It wants Article 239 of the constitution to be amended by inserting a new one to provide for the KBI as a fourth national security organ.

The objects and functions of KBI, its officeholder and funding of the agency from the consolidated fund should be in the constitution, the association proposed.

“Provide for consequential constitutional amendments to give effect to the proposed KBI. Insert a new article in the constitution to provide for the enactment of enabling legislation for operationalization of the KBI.”

The DCI currently has 6,128 personnel with 16 specialised units that include Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, Anti-Narcotics Unit, Anti-Human Trafficking, and Child Protection Unit, Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, Kenya Revenue Protection Services, Special Service Unit, and Land Fraud among others.

The group said the main challenges the DCI faces include recruiting, developing and retaining of specialised human resources, inadequate financial and logistic support, increased demand for services, unfavourable policy framework, cumbersome disciplinary procedures, and bureaucracy.

“For instance, in the 2019-2020 financial year, the DCI was allocated Sh7.1 billion out of Sh100 billion allocated to the National Police Service.”

Also present included John Mutonyi, Dr John Ochieng, Oscar Osur, Peter Pamba and Fredrick Mulandi who are members of the association.

The association also called for measures to take care of retired police officers.

Download the BBI Judgement by all seven Judges - Civil Appeal No. E291 of 2021
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