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Hillary Mutyambai gets autonomy after Ruto directive

Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai. [File, Standard]

The National Treasury has already implemented an order by President William Ruto made during his inauguration on Tuesday in which he promised to grant the National Police Service (NPS) financial autonomy.

National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani invoked his powers under the law and designated Inspector General Hilary Mutyambai the responsibilities of the accounting officer for the NPS. This means the NPS budget has been transferred from the Office of the President to the office of the Inspector General of Police.

In a letter dated September 15, just two days after Ruto gave the directive, CS Yatani designated the IG as the accounting officer for the allocation due to the NPS for the 2022/23 financial year.

“In accordance with the power conferred upon the Cabinet Secretary to the National Treasury you are hereby designated as the accounting officer of the NPS with effect from September 15,” said Yatani in the letter to Mr Mutyambai.

The letter is copied to Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakango and CS Interior.

“As an accounting officer you must familiarise yourself with the Constitution and you are required to keep your CS updated on all financial matters and provide information and reports as may be directed by the Cabinet Secretary.”

In his first address to the nation on Tuesday, after being sworn in, President Ruto argued that the Constitution obligates the IG to exercise independent command over the police officers and promised an executive order to make the holder of the office an accounting officer for funds allocated to the NPS. He added that the operational autonomy of the office of IG has been undermined by what he described as continued financial dependence on the Office of the President.

"I have instructed that the instruments conferring financial autonomy to the NPS by transferring their budget from the Office of the President and designating the Inspector General as the accounting officer be placed on my desk for signature this afternoon," Ruto said on Tuesday.

The Government hopes that the financial independence will give impetus to the fight against graft and end the witch-hunt of the criminal justice system against people seen as critics of the State.

"No public servant, even chiefs and their assistants, will be required to run political errands for any political party," he said.