Police commission, Koome fight to control recruitment millions

Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) and the Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome are fighting over the control of Sh150 million for the recruitment of officers.

The wrangles came to the fore after the two agencies tabled similar budget items before the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Security which is currently considering the 2024 Budget Policy Statement.

NPSC Chief Executive Officer Peter Leley tabled a request before the House team to allocate the commission Sh150 million for the recruitment of police officers- an appeal that the IG had also made during his presentation.

Leley was however adamant that his was premised on Article 246 of the Constitution which grants the commission the mandate of recruiting officers to the National Police Service.

He also held that the mandate of the IG was limited to operational functions and the law should be followed to avoid a duplication of functions.

“The money for recruitment according to law is reserved for NPSC. The funds once allocated will be used for the recruitment of 15,000 police officers,” he said.

“We are not looking to get any other funds including the operational funds. We however ask this committee to give us the recruitment budget,” added Leley.

NPSC is seeking Sh150 million for the recruitment of 10,000 police constables.

“To carry out this recruitment exercise effectively, the commission estimates that it will require funds amounting to Sh150 million. This funding is necessary to cover various expenses associated with the recruitment process, including logistics, personnel, training facilities, equipment and administrative costs,” read the NPSC presentation in part.

Koome had earlier told the committee that the National Police Service (NPS) was unable to recruit officers in the previous financial year thanks to the El Nino crisis which necessitated the transfer of funds to save lives.

The IG also said NPS is cash-strapped which has hampered operations. Koome told the committee that the NPS had been allocated Sh114.29 billion against a request for 171.89 billion.

The Narok West MP Gabriel Tongoyo-led committee however sought to know which agency should be granted the funds to recruit given that the two agencies had made similar requests.  

This, was after NPSC Vice Chairperson Alice Otwala submitted that funds for the recruitment of police in the last financial year had been allocated to the IG and not the commission.

“The problem is that finances were placed in places that they shouldn’t have…as a commission we know that our time is almost up but we hope that those who come will do an even better job,” said Otwala.

Committee vice chair Dido Rasso urged NPSC to present their grievances to the House team in a bid to find an amicable solution to the standoff with NPS.

“As a committee where should we consider the recruitment of the 10,000 officers given that it appears in two places?” Posed Kisumu West MP Rosa Buyu.

The commission complained of being underfunded and requested the committee to consider their budget.