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Enforcement officers advised to familiarise with bylaws

Officers from the County Inspectorate Unit have been advised of the urgent need to familiarise themselves with the existing county bylaws in order to avoid finding themselves in collision with the public.

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, while opening a two-day training workshop for the county law officers, said every officer should ensure he has read and understood all the 22 county bylaws before executing any arrest, as doing so oblivious to the rights of individuals may lead to unnecessary litigation battles.

He similarly said the officers will soon be taken through an individual evaluation exercise to determine how suitable they are at their individual workstations as part of continuous service improvement to the public. “How can an officer enforce bylaws which he or she has never read?” posed Mutahi.

“Nyeri County has 22 acts ranging from the control and licencing of liquor to revenue collection from business operators. But you must be well conversant with these laws before you go out to enforce them. You must know which bylaw you are enforcing before going out to close down that liquor joint or that business premises, for that matter, or end up embarrassing yourself when a business operator demands to know which law you are invoking in enforcing your mandate as an officer,” he told the officers.

Among the areas the officers will be trained on are investigation and prosecution, mental health awareness, stress management, and complaint handling mechanisms.

In addition, the enforcement officers will be sensitised on the need to acquaint themselves with organisation culture, communication skills, and teamwork, curb corruption, and steer away from alcohol and substance abuse.

Kahiga also emphasised the need for the officers to conduct themselves with decorum and professionalism while on their day-to-day operations, noting that the department has on many occasions been tainted due to the actions of a few rogue officers.

To this end, the governor promised to continue improving their working conditions through frequent retooling workshops and looking into enhancing their employment terms through promotions.

“We as the enforcement officers must be able to earn respect from the touts making noise in the streets, from that woman doing her business, and from that casual working at a construction site but who is not a professional mason. From our end, we must conduct ourselves with decorum and respect for others so that we may earn their respect,” he stressed.

The two-day workshop which is taking place at the Culture Centre will officially close tomorrow.

Others present included CECs Peter Macharia (County Public Service), Simon Gachunia (Lands), Joseph Kiragu (Health), James Wachihi (Agriculture), Abdi Hanif (Transport), and Esther Ndung’u (Gender).

Also in attendance were County Secretary Ben Gachichio, Chief of Staff Paul Wambugu, and MCAs Simon Mbogo (Rware) and Gibson Wahinya (Dedan Kimathi).

By Samuel Maina

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