Interior and Administration of National Government Cabinet Secretary (CS) Professor Abraham Kindiki has revealed that 57 police officers died in the line of duty last year where scores of others were injured with some incapacitated to the extent of being unable to work to fend for their families.
The CS stated that security officers work under very difficult conditions and called on the two standing committees of parliaments on Security to help in coming up with laws that will help safeguard the future of the families of the security officers who die in the line of duty in order to alleviate their suffering.
Prof. Kindiki also said they were eagerly waiting for a report of the taskforce led by retired Chief Justice David Maraga which was appointed to look into the welfare of the police and prison officers and expressed optimism that if implemented, the anticipated report will help improve working conditions for security workers and their families in the event of death.
Speaking in Naivasha on Friday during an induction workshop for the Senate Standing committee on National Security, Defense and Foreign Relations, the CS also noted they were modernizing the operations in the Interior Ministry to ensure that applicants for important documents such as Identity Cards (IDs) and passports get them promptly.
“It’s inhuman to keep a Kenyan waiting for an identity card or passport. The delays infringe on their rights as Kenyans,” he said.
Kindiki also observed that they had contained insecurity in Nairobi which had degenerated to alarming levels and was spilling to other towns and cities.
He added only a few pockets of insecurity currently remains; in places like Kasarani and Roysambu and security personnel were doing everything possible to overcome the challenge.
“Apart from New York and Geneva, Nairobi is a regional hub and a diplomatic holding city and insecurity was threatening this position of Kenya on the global map,” he noted.
Referring to the recent summoning of the immediate former Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang`i to appear at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for questioning, Kindiki reiterated that all Kenyans should be handled with dignity and regardless of the social status.
“Our policy is to uphold institutional independence but the government should also work within the law, we will protect our officers who exercise their mandate within the law but those who negate the law will be used to serve as an example,” the CS said.
He said the independence of institutions cannot be interfered with by anybody but they must adhere to the law.
Meanwhile, Kindiki has said he will in the next announce major drastic measures to address the runaway insecurity in the six counties in the North Rift that have been declared as disturbed and dangerous.
He said as the security operation to flush out bandits in the six counties of Turkana, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Laikipia and Samburu which were last month declared as ‘disturbed’ and ‘dangerous’ enters its second phase on Saturday, there will be major rearrangements in the operation in order to crash this banditry menace once and for all.
The CS said the cattle-rustling menace in the North Rift is no longer cultural but had taken on a commercial and political outfit and needed to be nipped in the bud before it gets out of hand.
“The Country will pay dearly in the long run like other countries have if we don’t deal with this problem of banditry in the Northern region now,” Kindiki said adding that enough security personnel and machinery have been deployed to the troubled area.
By Mabel Keya-Shikuku