Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome was conspicuously missing from a key State event held at State House Nairobi on Thursday.
Koome was not present at an event where the Justice David Maraga-led task force presented its final report to the Head of State William Ruto.
The Maraga task force has been conducting public views and compiled a report that the government is expected to implement with a view of reforming the National Police Service (NPS), Prisons and National Youth Service (NYS).
The absence of the IG at such a key State function has raised eyebrows and fuelled speculations of a fallout between Koome and his appointing authority.
Sources within the top echelons of security circles and State House told The Sunday Standard that things are so bad to the extent that Koome has not been briefing the Head of State.
The sources, who spoke in confidence, said the president has instead been receiving security briefs from NIS boss Noordin Hajji.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Noor Gabow and Douglas Kanja were present at the event. Also present at the event was Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki and prisons boss Brigadier (Rtr) John Kebaso Warioba.
Yesterday, NPS through Resila Onyango said the IG could not attend the event at State House because he was already engaged in another function in Meru.
“The IG is at work in Meru where he has been attending a meeting of court users,” Onyango told The Sunday Standard on phone.
“He is busy working,” Onyango said, further downplaying claims by some State operatives that Koome could no longer attend events at State House due to the icy relationship between him and his boss, President Ruto.
This is not the first time the IG has not been seen at functions held at State House or attended by the President.
Koome was also absent during the visit by King Charles and Queen Camilla on October 31.
All other top security chiefs including Chief of Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla were present at the welcome ceremony for the king and quuen in State House.
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After receiving the report by Maraga, President Ruto said the Government was keen to implement the task force recommendations that will see improved terms of service for police officers, prison wardens and NYS personnel.
The president said the Kenya Kwanza Administration was keen on improving the welfare of security officers and in return demanded that the police play their role of protecting life and property.
“The task force concluded that the security services faced serious challenges that required urgent and comprehensive reforms,” said Ruto.
The president there would be in consultations with the National Treasury and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
After this, police officers, prisons and NYS officers will get a pay rise of 40 per cent in the next three years, if the recommendations by the national task force are implemented.
The task force has outlined four areas that are a big headache in the security sector.
They include: Inefficient leadership, structural and organisational weaknesses, corruption and lack of funding and resources as the main challenges hindering service delivery in the security sector.
Among its recommendations is the creation of “The Disciplined and Security Services Sector” comprising the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), National Intelligence Service (NIS) and National Police Service (NPS).
Also to be included are the Kenya Prison Service (KPS), and National Youth Service (NYS) as separate budget sector.