Return of 'powerful' chiefs loom in latest grassroots shakeup

Chiefs and their assistants salute as National Anthem is played at Gusii stadium during Kisii Governor Simba Arati's swearing-in on  August 25, 2022. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Chiefs will have at least five police officers assigned to them and be required to keep work plans and a register of services, as the government mulls empowering grassroots administrators.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said the considerations are intended to make the 3,950 chiefs and their 9,043 assistants more effective and accountable to the public.

“We are working towards reorganising ourselves between the National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) and the police to ensure that every chief has police officers attached to them to enable them to enforce law and order,” said Kindiki.

Speaking at Mtwapa location chief’s office in Kilifi County where he made an impromptu visit, the CS directed the State Department of Interior to liaise with the National Police Service to implement the proposal by January next year.

Kindiki allayed fears that placing police under chiefs’ command could return the country to the era of all-powerful and notorious provincial administrators, saying the government would strike a fine balance between power and responsibilities.

“We will improve their working environment to make sure they deliver security and are able to articulate government policy more clearly and more effectively,” he said.

On security in the coastal region, the CS said the government was working closely with community policing groups to identify and isolate criminal gangs and networks behind drugs and violent crime.

He also said the government was working on a smart traffic monitoring policy that will reduce the number of roadblocks manned by traffic police.

The Standard
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