The National Taskforce on Improvement of the Terms and Conditions of Service and other Reforms for Members of the National Police Service (NPS) and Kenya Prisons Service (KPS) on Monday held a public participation forum in Uasin Gishu to collect memoranda from Police and Prisons officers and members of the public.
The public views will inform the final report that the taskforce will submit to the president to enable him deliberate on amicable ways to improve the terms and conditions of service of the police and prisons officers to enable them execute their duties effectively and efficiently in various parts of the country.
The Chairperson of the Task Force team in Uasin Gishu Ibrahim Jillo said that the reforms are to the personal level to accord officers a conducive environment as they serve the citizens of Kenya.
“Reform is personal to yourself, it is what matters to you as an individual officer, the manner in which you want to serve the citizens of this country, how you would want to police the citizens of this country and how the government must take care of you as an officer, the manner in which your welfare must be looked into by the government,” explained Jillo.
In the forum, pay increase and general welfare topped the agenda of the day as officers from both the national police and prisons service demanded harmonization of salaries and allowances.
In the memoranda presented by the Uasin Gishu County Administration Police Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit (CIPU) Commander, Abdulrahman Mohamed, the officers suggested a pay increase of up to 145 per cent for a police constable.
This was echoed by County Prisons Commander Barnaba Keino who proposed a 115 per cent increase in line with the current high cost of living as he appealed for creation of more Prison offices at the regional, county and sub-county levels.
In regard to welfare, the officers complained of poor housing as they appealed for construction of more houses in police and prison camps across the country to accommodate all officers.
On his part Uasin Gishu Deputy County Police Commander Zacchaeus Ng’eno reiterated the need to recall all police officers to stay in the camps, noting that it is risky and difficult for police officers to defend the camps in case of an attack if they away from camps and stations.
Ng’eno further suggested that the transfers or deployment of officers should be done at a particular time to avoid inconveniencing the families of the officers.
At the same time County NPS Chaplain Nelson Plelon appealed for the introduction of what he referred to as ‘Separation Allowance’ for officers working far away from their homes to cushion them from engaging in multiple relationships which will in turn make them neglect their legal families.
“Officers working away from their families face a lot of temptations in life, they tend to engage in promiscuous relationships, and many of them end up falling victims of HIV; with separation allowance they would uphold loyalty to their legal wives as they can travel home often and there will be no family break-ups,” said Plelon.
The members of the NPS, KPS and the general public were further urged to submit their memoranda online via email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be reviewed on or before 17th February 2023.
The Task Force team further visited various NPS and KPS facilities in the county to assess their conditions as the chairperson assured the members of the National Police Service (NPS) and the Kenya Prisons Service (KPS) in Uasin Gishu County that their recommendations and suggestions are going to be handed over to the Task Force overall chairman former Chief Justice David Maraga and eventually be submitted to the president.
By Ekuwam Sylvester and Mercy Wangari