THE POLICE REFORMS: TARGET THE INSTITUTION AND NOT THE INDIVIDUALS. By Mungai

Consider this, its dead hour of the night, and there you are enjoying your sleep, and then abruptly some uninvited guests comes calling, all armed to teeth with all manner of crude weapons and guns. Then you send a desperate call to the local police station and the answer you get is that the police doesn’t have fuel.

Here now you are on your own and your GOD. The gangster are not mincing their words, and pleading to them fall on deaf ears, for it’s either death, or you part with a lump sum amount of money. And, after they are through with you and you say a word of prayer thanking almighty God for sparing your life, it becomes one of the most chilling experience of a lifetime which send cold shivers down the spine.

This is the situation which characterizes the modern Kenya of today, where insecurity has deteriorated and it’s almost getting out of hands. You can’t enjoy peacefully living in your country, even a walk in the street is a problem. Insecurity has almost overpowered our police force, and their policing is a bit suspect and rather wanting. The criminal intelligence gathering has totally collapsed.

After the past election violence ceased, of which the Kenyan police force was blamed for not containing it, despite been alerted with intelligence reports, there has been overwhelming tantrums call for the total overhaul reformation of the police force because their working conduct was proven beyond the doubt that it was a bit suspect.

Even Justice Waki’s commission which inquired and unraveled the heneous violence, in their recommendations went a step ahead to call for the total overhaul police reformation. To most people’s argument calls, the police code of conduct has run out of time.

The Waki commission also went a step ahead and called for the merger of the two police units that’s the regular and administration police. Their overlapping mandates hamper the boasting of security and at times it leads to rivalry among the units.

The Kenyan people, non-governmental organizations and human rights commission have always been at the forefront in pressuring and urging the Government to address the issue of insecurity and reform the police, which they accuse of condoning corruption, laxity concerning security matters, abating crime, harassment and conducting shoddy investigations.

Time to time, this renewed call for the police reformation continues to gain ground as the country continues to grapple with the threat of serious insecurity. Security is not guaranteed, as the police cannot cope with modern security challenges which threaten the country and are advancing with each on every passing day. Organized crimes are also proving to be a major security headache to the police. These organized criminal terror on the poor Kenyan ether by extortion, threats, robbery and murders.

Our police force is still been controlled by the penal codes which dates back to pre-colonial times. They do their work at the whims of the executive arm of the government. The government also share its blame of manipulating the police in the name of maintaining law and order whereas it wants to advance it’s political advances, especially the ever expanding administration police which doesn’t have a clear mandate.

Security for the people has become a major threat in this country at this modern time. The Kenyan are not at the mercy of these deadly armed looming murderous criminal

Gangs who are on the loose and ready to rain terror on the poor Kenyans.

Add this to the failed stateness of Somalia which has fuelled our security threat due to proliferation of small arms which are ending up in the wrong hands. Most people’s lives have shattered by these trigger-happy murderous criminal’s bullets. Most Kenyans don’t trust the security the government provides because it is something you can’t rely on the hour of need it isn’t guaranteed.

These days, no neighbourhood can boast itself to be more secure than the other, and the most affected are the rural areas and slum towns where these organized criminal gangs do call the shots and operate.

The government has totally failed to address the threats of insecurity and of late the police officers have also been the targets of criminals. And, that’s why most people have been calling for the total overhaul of the police force which most people believe are part of the problem we do experience.

And, it was on that rallying call which was been exerted that the government appointed a taskforce to collect views and recommend on the way forward concerning the reformation of the police force. They have already presented their report with wide ranging recommendations which to most pundits it targets individuals rather than the institution itself.

But, why is that when we decide to reform our institutions of governance we target individuals rather than institutions? Why don’t we harmonize our divergent views and reach a compromise situation and legislate an institution that will not be subject to manipulation by the elites?

Concerning the police reformation we need to put an institution that will adequately address the needs of the Kenyan security wise. The matters of security are not negotiable and they have to be addressed if we are going to make some strides.

But, accusing fingers have always been pointing to the office of the president, under whose docket the police force falls under. The President’s office has been cited as a major stumbling block in the reformation of the institution of police despite numerous strategic police reform reports which have been written.

Also, laxity and low morale in the police due to poor pay packages, housing have been cited as one of the major hindrance in the fight of insecurity in the country. And the fact that the force is not autonomous thus the police boss does not have the security of tenure, for he works under the prevalence of his boss.

The government can also be blamed for not investing in security. Until the time the government realizes that security guarantee is paramount to the growth of the country’s economy is when we will make some mileages. Insecurity scares away investors in any country.


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