Githiga police station in Githunguri sub-county of Kiambu County is in dire need of ICT Services so as to enable the station to operate with ease and be able to handle their court proceedings virtually.
The officers from the station are therefore compelled to move out to seek services in the cybers located at Githiga shopping center.
The officers do not have a single computer or printer in their offices while their work dictates that they have to regularly print documentation which should be relayed on-line.They cannot also participate in virtual meetings with other departmental heads to address issues affecting the people.
The officer commanding Githiga Police Station Inspector Paul Mulwa while talking to KNA from his office yesterday regretted that they lacked the infrastructure to link the station to Githunguri Law Courts where they forward the suspects in their custody so that they go through the Judicial process.
Inspector Mulwa said in the process of court cases going virtual because of COVID-19 where Judicial officers are seeking to avoid contracting Corona by touching hard copies of charge sheets among other documents, the station was not possible to embrace the virtual process of lack of infrastructure.
“The Ministry of ICT should go an extra mile and provide us with the infrastructure so that we are linked to Githunguri Law Courts” he stated.He added that when the officers spotted the GK from ministry of ICT being driven into the station they were happy and thought that the technical officers were going to install the infrastructure.
At the time KNA toured the station yesterday Mr. Andrew Chepkorom, the deputy OCS had just returned from a cyber outside the station armed with official documents that had been printed and were to be filled.
The officer said the only electronic gadget in his possession was his personal mobile phone which he solely relied on as he performed his official duties. He said the phone cannot do much and especially when work has to be executed timely. “You cannot be using your personal phone and then give it to another officer to use while doing official work” he stated
He further revealed that most of the work was done manually before they presented anybody before court in Githunguri while most courts are now embracing on-line proceedings. “We should be linked to the court so that we spent less time ferrying our suspects to court” he noted.
He regretted that some stations located in far fetched counties were connected while Githiga lagged behind yet it was a stone throw from the Capital City County of Nairobi.
When KNA sought a comment from the office of Githunguri Sub-county commander, Mr.George Kipkoros the deputy head of Githunguri police station said arrangements were being made to link up some of the police posts which had been upgraded last year including Githiga police station. He mentioned Ikinu, Kwamaiko and Kibichoi police stations were some of the newly created stations that required to be linked so that they could handle their court proceedings without necessarily traveling all the way to Githunguri law courts.
KNA also found a court in session at the Githunguri police station which was being held virtually. There were about 6 suspects at the room which has now been converted into court 3 and their cases were being conducted through zoom as their relatives waited outside.
To give the station a link would require a computer or laptop, reliable internet and cabling including labor amounting to about 70,000 shillings. The officers would also need to be trained in ICT so as to be able to follow up the proceedings without interruption.
A tour to Ikinu police station also confirmed that the station did not have any computer and a spacious office.There is however ample space to construct a magnificent office at the present location.
Kiambu Law courts on November 26th 2020 returned to virtual following the upsurge of covid cases after reopening its doors to the public in May 2020.The court had remained closed following the lockdown imposed by the President in March 2020.Prior to the resumption of virtual proceedings, scores of judicial from other courts contracted the disease, therefore compelling Kiambu law courts to resume virtual therefore limiting people accessing the law courts.
Lack of ICT infrastructure has greatly derailed delivery of service for the people of Githiga location and her environs and they are therefore calling on the relevant arm of the Government to intervene so as to link up the offices in the area so as to address the challenges affecting the people promptly without having to make them travel to Githunguri town which is the headquarters of the sub-county.
By Lydia Shiloya