Parliament approves deployment of police officers to Haiti

National Assembly on Thursday, November 16, 2023 approved the deployment of Kenyan police officers to Haiti.  [Elvis Ogina]

The National Assembly has approved the deployment of 1,000 Kenyan police officers to Haiti for a peacekeeping mission.

Lawmakers on Thursday, November 16, adopted a parliamentary joint committee report that recommended the approval of the deployment following a heated debate with opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) opposing the report.

It is now all systems go for after the process faced a few hurdles including a case in court opposing the one-year deployment that will cost a total of Sh91 billion.

During the debate, National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi was among those who opposed the deployment saying that Parliament would be breaking the law by approving the deployment of Kenyan police to the troubled Caribbean country.

“The law simply talks about the deployment of national forces outside Kenya. Article 241 of the Constitution talks of the Kenya Army, Kenya Air Force, and Kenya Navy; there is nowhere the National Police Service is mentioned,” argued Wandayi.

His sentiments were echoed by other leaders allied to the opposition including Kisumu West MP Rosa Buyu and his Ruaraka counterpart Tom Kajwang who questioned the move, terming it an irony considering the below ratio of police to the Kenyan population.

"Are we not using our officers as guinea pigs? I reject this ill-advised motion; I reject it in totality. I want to appeal to my colleagues to reject this motion to save our grandchildren.”

The report was tabled by a joint Committee of the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Security and the Senate Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations.

“The Committees having reviewed Kenya’s obligations to the UN, its existing legal framework, submissions through public participation, and submissions by stakeholders recommends that Parliament approves the proposed deployment of the National Police Service to the Multinational Security Support (MSS) Mission for Haiti under the provisions of the Constitution,” the team recommended.

Cabinet had earlier approved the deployment before Parliament stamped it on Thursday.