NGOs urge MPs to reject police amends
14 June 2013, 19:01
A group of Non-governmental organisations in North rift region have urged parliament to reject proposed amendments to the National Police Service Act 2011.
Speaking at Skynest hotel in Kitale, they said the proposed changes are aimed at frustrating the pace of police reforms that the people of Kenya have always called for.
They alleged that the proposed unchecked power for the inspector General to promote, transfer and discipline police officers is open to abuse and increases the likelihood of favouritism and nepotism.
“The proposed amendments were done without the knowledge of stakeholders and it is obvious that it would compromise professionalism in National police service,” said Leonard Barasa, director of Catholic Justice and peace commission.
The police commission should be mandated to recruit, appoint, confirm appointments, and determine promotions and transfer in the national police service, said Peter Kiama Executive director of independent Medico-legal unit.
“We don’t want to see what used to happen when loyalty to the commissioner of police would guarantee police officers promotions,” he added.
Instead of the amendments, they pointed out, the national police service together with the Inspector General should commence the development of regulations to guide the National police service commission and the National police Service Act 2011.
They further said that the Inspector General and his deputies should declare their 5 year plan saying it is not clear where their stand on delivering a reformed police service.
Lenson Njogu, program officer Legal Resources Foundation, added that Kenyans should be given a hearing before the tabling of any amendments to legislation that are product of wide public participation.
“We urge the leader of Majority in parliament and the chair of the committee on security to champion this move that would ensure Kenyans are involved,” said Njogu.
Late last month, NPSC chairman Johnston Kavuludi said the proposed changes had a clause that included a 'frightening protection' clause to police officers who carry out illegal orders from their seniors.
“The proposed changes are aimed at watering down the powers of the commission and derailing police reforms and we would not allow manoeuvrings by anti –reformists,” he said.
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