Kindiki: Conduct of police IG, Commission over promotion of officers violates Constitution

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has described the ongoing supremacy battle between the Inspector General of Police and the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) over the promotion of police officers as a violation of the Constitution.

Appearing before National Assembly's Security Committee on Tuesday, June 20, Kindiki stated disputes not only seek to lower public confidence Kenyans have in the security institutions but also erode gains made in reforming the police service.

He said he had engaged in private discussions with the top leadership of the two institutions to resolve the dispute.

"In my view, not only as the Minister in charge of security in the country but also based on my professional background, the conduct exhibited by the two institutions and their top officials amounts to a violation of Chapter Six of the Constitution on Integrity and Leadership,” he said.

 "I am not passing judgment on who is right or wrong. We must ensure public confidence, not only in the officers responsible for our security but also ensure that the officers themselves have confidence in the organizations they serve. More importantly, the people of Kenya must have confidence in the responsible institutions," he added.

 Kindiki's statement comes amidst an ongoing power struggle between police OG Japhet Koome and the National Police Service Commission, which has divided the National Police Service.

There are concerns that if the standoff continues, innocent police officers who are due for promotion could be negatively affected by the turf war.

On June 5, IG boss Koome unilaterally announced the promotion of 514 police officers within NPS, with the promotions taking immediate effect.

However, the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) quickly condemned Koome’s move, stating that it was unlawful and against the established procedures, as the Inspector General does not possess the authority to make such promotions.

Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah has since taken the matter to court, suing Koome for assuming the NPSC's mandate, which he said is contrary to the Constitution.

Omtatah also accuses the IG of obstructing the lawful promotion of police officers by the commission.

He seeks the court's determination on which entity, either the IG or NPSC, possesses the exclusive human resource mandate.