The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) could have full autonomy in terms of command and financing should the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 sail through in a referendum.
In the Bill, the National Police Service will consist of the Kenya Police, Administration Police and DCI. They shall each be headed by a Deputy Inspector General appointed by the President in accordance with recommendations of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC).
According to the Bill unveiled yesterday, the powers of the Inspector General of Police (IG) as the overall command authority will be enhanced. The IG shall "exercise independent command over the service, determine promotions and transfers within the service and exercise disciplinary control through suspension of officers in the service."
NPSC's role in determining promotions and transfers will be quashed and replaced with the duty of confirming appointments. The commission will also regularly review conditions of service and code of conduct for officers.
The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) team also bowed to pressure and dropped proposals to establish a Kenya Police Council and to transform the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) into a commission.
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In the first draft Bill, BBI proponents had proposed to have a Cabinet minister responsible for internal security as council chair, with two members of the National Police Service appointed by the President and Internal Security Principal Secretary as council members.
There was a proposal to repeal Article 246 of the National Police Service Commission and replace it with the Kenya Police Council, an agency that was to be responsible for overall policy coordination of the National Police Service.
If it was retained, it would have meant that the Interior PS would have become the accounting officer of the police, with the CS running the show.
The suggestion to change Ipoa to a commission would have allowed it to, among other things, hold members of the National Police Service accountable to the public in the performance of their functions and to perform any other functions as prescribed by the national legislation.
While this means that Ipoa will remain as provided in the current legislation, the changes will be a blow to officials who had welcomed the move to elevate the agency to an independent commission.