Skip to main content

The Kenya Police Force

Anti Riot police in the aftermath of a past riot at
Kenyatta University
An expert, more precisely, a group of experts, was hired to come up with recommendations on how the Kenya Police Force would redeem a bad public image and be more effective to the citizenry. Amongst the recommendations were better housing for the police, better working terms, better training and a better brand. Whoever who is in charge of implementing the recommendations was quick to implement them, rather quick to implement the easiest, branding. The "Kenya Police Force" was deemed to ring the wrong bell in terms of the police force and use of force. The Kenya Police Service would be way better.

However, this did not yield much. While the Police Force has been more visible through a spokesperson, the Administration Police (AP) was caught the other day breaking down an illegal procession. The AP chaps figured that the best way to break such a demonstration was to repeatedly clobber an elderly woman using a 1 meter wooden baton. It was even more ironical that the protest was on failure of the Police Force to respond on cattle rustling, resulting to deaths of members of the community. While the Police were a no-show during the cattle rustling, several baton-wielding individuals with a quest to clobber any human on their path were summoned in no time to break up a peaceful demonstration. Apparently, those looking to demonstrate or even commit crimes have to notify the Police in advance for a smooth going.

The unlucky AP fellow was reported to have been given the pink slip for being unfortunate enough to make a d├ębut TV appearance clobbering a mother of grown children.


In addition, the Administration Police commandant in charge of the province apologised to the woman with a delegate of several AP commanders personally visiting the victim to pass on their apologies. This is surely a strange happening and a different image of our Police Force, probably the "Police Service " part.

 A while back, when I was in the third of what has turned to be 5 and counting years in Kenyatta University (They have a loyalty scheme where you have to redo several units as a reward) , a section of the students happened to demonstrate in one very rainy night. Regular Police, Administration Police and mostly General Service Unit ( GSU) were deployed to quell the riots. Rumours claim the rioters proved to be quite tough that it was decided it would only be fair to deploy almost the entire student faculty at the nearby GSU training school to exchange ideas in their domains.

It got worse as the students at KU decided to strike a raw nerve, informing their counterparts at the GSU training school that had they passed their exams, they would be on the other side of the fracas. The GSU responded by holing up the students in a hostel and pumping in tear gas. Metallic gates barring the rear exits and those separating men and women side had to be broken for the students under siege to escape.

The small narrative was meant to bring up a point, that the Police Force is commonly perceived as an excellent opportunity for those who did not make it to colleges and universities by natural selection. It's quite sad that the clever chaps in the society are totally left out from recruitment in the police force , a glaring omission that is hardly noticed. Also contributing to this issue is Police salaries.

The Police Force should be amongst the highest paid civil servants , this are people who put their lives on the line to ensure the country is secure, and the people we expect to guard our lives and property.

At the same time, police housing in some areas consists of a dilapidated hall partitioned with bed sheets , with each partition been home to a family. More than 45 years after independence, this is a national tragedy.

I argue that the low salaries may be part of the contributing factor to corruption in the Force.

However, one of the members of the elite Recce GSU company - who are normally assigned to guard dignitaries and in complex security situations, such as standoffs - offers different opinions. He argues that a real police man should be one by heart, and should not be compromised no matter the situation. He also argues that corruption is more of a Kenyan culture than a police problem - something that most of the country is brought up to appreciate and look up to.

I agree that Kenyans have a shocking culture, including one of only being orderly when someone in authority is watching them, a behaviour I believe stems from the education sector.

It is also debatable as to how immigrant Somalis got authentic Kenyan passports, to the point that the Queen of the United Kingdom found that she could no longer extend her kindness on the waiver of visa requirements for Kenyans visiting her kingdom. While Police are been blamed for accepting dollars in exchange for the passage, the Minister in charge of Immigration has also been reported to have authorised suspect activity in his docket.

I also question the recent handling of grenade attacks in Nairobi. The Police have been quite quick at establishing links between suspects and Harakat al Shabaab Mujihadeen (HSM). In addition, a suspect was apprehended, he confessed to the attacks and was sentenced to life in prison - all this happened so fast shattering any other records the Kenya police may have had. It is the same Police Force that was not able to conclusively solve similar grenade attacks an year ago.

Makes me wonder, would the Police stop an "illegal" demonstration calling for Police reforms and better terms for the force?

I look forward to more of the Police service, and a better Kenya.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here .  Peroni - One of the best beers in Kenya. Did a taste of canned and bottled Italian, and bottled Tanzanian I like the tangy flavour and body in Tanzanian Peroni. The can is close. Heineken drinkers will like the Italian one.  I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get

Kenyan products: The art of punishing your consumer

This post was written in 2011. Facts may have and indeed have changed - but the conclusion has not.  Dormans instant coffee tastes better than Sasini instant coffee. Ramtons electronics are manufactured for Kenya's Hypermart Limited, yet maintain a high product quality Peanut butter used to taste so good, but you could not afford it on the pocket money that you got back in school. A few years later, you have your first real job and your first "disposable" income. You buy your first real tub of peanut butter, probably the first in your life. You feel proud that Dominion peanut butter is manufactured in Ruiru, a town that you visited in your campus days to withdraw your pocket money, it was the nearest bank ATM to your campus.  This was before Equity bank became a mainstream bank and decided to open an ATM in your campus, and before M-Pesa meant that you

Heineken 0.0 Best Alcohol Free Beer

What if you wanted to drink a beer, but without getting drunk? Say, you don’t drink alcohol, or for one reason or another, you are off alcohol. Or perhaps it’s a working day, and you would like to have a cold one in the middle of the day but without all negative effects. Well, you could. Welcome to the world of Alcohol-free beer.  Over the last few days, I’ve been enjoying some Heineken 0.0 rather than the typical beers. Now, Heineken 0.0 is a beer, in the malt lager style as the standard Heineken, the only difference being that all the alcohol has been removed - it contains less than 0.03% alcohol, which counts as safe enough even for those who are pregnant or affected by alcohol, according to Heineken. It smells very close to a Heineken, tastes close to a Heineken, and you even keep taking a piss like you would when drinking a Heineken - but you never get drunk.  How do they remove all the alcohol? From my research, they brew a standard Heineken beer as normal, then use some form

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

A spoonful of sugar, but for who? ( Image: Carol Wallis on Flickr ) Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar? Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen. Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji". The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave. But what ails Kenya's sugar industry? The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here. Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly decline

A to Z of Girl Pick-up Lines

Girl,  You are like a breath of fresh air , like an outstanding piece of Art in an art gallery  There are many things you and me can be, but it puts a smile of satisfaction on my face and a smile of envy on my buddies faces that you both beautiful and bootyfull  E ither your creator must have taken the greatest care creating you or your cheated your way around heaven, 'coz you clearly the prettiest girl on earth  D on't ask why my breathing quickens every time I see you; setting my eyes on you makes me feel like I am drowning in your beauty, I have to catch my breath   Exciting, Exotic, Elegant, Electrifying ; so many definitions in english , but when it comes to the human race, girl, you are the one and only definition of all the above  W hen I say you are fly , it may be due to the sensation of flying off the ground that I get when I am around you. Some girls are beautiful, a few are decent, even fewer got class; I didn't know I could find all this qualities in one gir