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Kavuludi calls for refresher training of VIP bodyguards

03 October 2014, 14:59 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Police officers to guard VIPs will have to undergo refresher training to be equipped with the required protection skills before being assigned to their bosses.

The move has been proposed by the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) chair, Johnstone Kavuludi, who said the training will help to reduce rampant cases of attacks on senior-most public officers by citizens during rallies and other public functions.

Read Also: Raila forgives Kwale whipper

“There is need when the Inspector General assigns bodyguards to VIPs, be undertaken through VIP protection course. Untrained officers assigned to guard the VIP operate on trial and error which makes it difficult to guard dignitaries,” said Kavuludi.

Kavuludi cited that an MP had complained to him that he had been assigned an incompetent bodyguard who remained far from his boss even during insecure public functions and would then make a phone call asking: 'Mheshimiwa, where are you and are you safe?'

The National Assembly’s Defence and Foreign Relations committee chair, Asman Kamama who had summoned both Kavuludi and the Inspector General who did not turn up because he was on official duty in Uganda, also concurred with the NPSC chair regarding the laxity of VIP bodyguards and said the matter has to be seriously addressed.

“There is laxity by police officers assigned to protect VIPs in the country. Imagine the former Prime Minister being attacked and whipped in a rally by a person in Kwale. It is like somebody attacking the US opposition leader, Mitt Romney,” said Kamama.

“Suppose that person had a gun to kill the former Prime Minister who is the opposition leader. All operations in the country would be brought to a halt and even the nation turned into war,” he warned.

Kamama said VIP bodyguards and police officers assigned to provide security during public functions have shown laxity by keeping a distance and becoming incautious of any emerging insecurity.

Kavuludi admitted that cases of senior police officers harassing their juniors is yet to be fully addressed and added that it might be the cause of stress among officers in lower ranks.

“The relationship between senior and junior officers is largely worrying and senior’s mentality of giving orders to juniors is yet to change. The seniority should not be considered brutality and discrimination of officers in low ranks,” said Kavuludi who emphasized that the Force should not be militarized but operated on civilian policing.

The NPSC chair revealed that his Commission is in the process of developing the code of conduct to guide police officers from various ranks on how they should ethically respect each other during their interaction.

He called on the government to increase the allowances of police officers going on leave to avoid incidents where some of them resort to using all means be it criminal to get money while on leave for not being given allowances.

“There is a big gap in allowances between top police officers and the lowest. There is need to harmonise the allowances by working with SRC,” said Kavuludi.

Rongo MP, Dalmas Otieno, who is also the member of the Security committee, warned MPs against employing their own relatives as bodyguards saying this contributes to their insecurity. He instead urged them to leave the mandate to the Inspector General of Police to assign them competent officers.

“In all my 26 years of public service, I have left the work of being assigned the bodyguard to the Inspector General and I have never complained about my security,” said Otieno.

“Avoid choosing your own bodyguard and allow the IG to assign you competent officers. The bodyguard should be among those in top ranks of good sub-shooters,” he added.

The Rongo MP said the Police Service should come up with regulation to help stop any persons from joining the Force because the majority of them lack positive attitude in the profession but only working to earn a living.

“When you come across police officers in the city, you will identify who is interested in the job and who is not. You will find some looking tired with the job, some uncomfortably holding big guns and some looking unhappy,” said the Rongo MP.

However, the Inspector General David Kimaiyo, in a press statement to media houses said NPSC is committed to providing trained bodyguards who are well oriented in protection duties of VIPs. 

Kimaiyo challenged the VIPs to embrace a strong bond with their bodyguards to avoid security lapse and enable the officers to offer the best security services.

“However, it has been noted that some VIPs and dignitaries are giving the bodyguards other assignments, thereby occasioning gaps,” said Kimaiyo.

He instructed all bodyguards to observe due diligence of their respective VIPs and desist from performing duties outside their assigned mandate.

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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