Parliament approves Japheth Koome's nomination as Inspector General of Police

 Japheth Koome takes an oath during public vetting on Tuesday at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Parliament has approved the nomination of Eng Japheth Koome as the Inspector General of Police paving way for him to become the 4th IG.

The House Wednesday adopted a report tabled by the National Security Defence and National Relations Committee on the approval of Koome's nomination after the public vetting on Tuesday at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi.

Senate Security Committee chairman William Cheptumo tabled the motion recommending to the House the approval of Koome's nomination as IG.

According to the report, the nominee met all the requirements coupled with his vast experience of more than 30 years in service. He takes over from former IG Hillary Mutyambai who retired on medical grounds.

On August 26, Mutyambai proceeded on leave for medical reasons and appointed Noor Gabow to serve in his capacity.

The retired IG was appointed by former President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2019.

Moving the motion to debate the report, Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda described Koome as a highly qualified and educated person.

Nyamira Senator Okong'o Omogeni said IG nominee is a professional who will turn around the National Police Service.

"The person we are discussing here is a trained engineer from the University of Nairobi. For the first time, we will have a professional in the police service," he said.

Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago noted that Koome will be taking over the office at a time the country is facing security challenges and urges to hit the road running.

"I support this motion and I hope he will be able to reduce instances of insecurity in the country and deal with corruption during the recruitment of police," he said.

Nyeri Senator Wahome Wamatinga said: "The last five years have been very tough for the country where the police have been used politically. its my wish that with Koome's experience all this will not recur under his watch."

In their congratulatory messages, the MPs said they hope that Koome would be keen on tackling corruption and improving the welfare of the police officers to ensure smooth service delivery.

With the nod of Parliament, Koome's name will now be forwarded to President William Ruto for appointment.

The committee dismissed a petition that was filed by Zaina Kombo who opposed Koome's nomination on the basis that he fell short of the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution and National Police Service Act.

"I believe that the period which Japheth Koome was the Nairobi County Commander was marked by serious human rights violations including police killings of unarmed protesters, children and sexual violence," reads the petition.

The committee said they considered the response of the IG nominee who refuted the allegations.

During the vetting on Tuesday, the IG nominee said he was cognizant of among others corruption in police recruitment and promised to address the same once he takes office.

Some of the strategies he promised to employ include, ensuring that all police officers wear name tags so that the public are aware of whom they are dealing with to weed out rogue elements.

"What is happening along our roads is ugly. Once  I am approved, I will change the service so that we can have a reward mechanism to the members of the public who report corrupt officers," Koome said.

He said he hopes that the independence of the Police Service would not be interfered with.

The Standard
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