Since Kenya gained its independence in 1963, it has enjoyed relative peace and yes there have been tribal clashes and lets not forget the post election violence in early 2008. The effects of these clashes have not been lost upon us. However, to be fair, Kenya has been at relative peace. Our security needs have been minimal, to say the least. The demand on the intelligence community has been mainly to be used as a political tool, to silence those who oppose the set establishment. They have mainly been there to disrupt political rallies, gather intelligence on political enemies so as to ascertain their downfall.
The Kenya Police, with their “utumishi kwa wote” slogan have given the least “utumishi” even to the few. We all know or have heard of stories of people calling the police, only for them to say they do not have petrol, or you go to report an incident and you risk facing ridicule, or even jail time, and many more stories. We cannot blame the police 100%. The government has refused to better train them, better equip them, and give the police better administrators to run the departments effectively.
For the longest however, Kenyans have learnt to live with the inefficiencies of the police. We know that instead of waiting on the police to come and apprehend criminals, we get a spare tyre some kerosene and light up the guy….very inhumane and lots of human right abuses right there…..but we have no choice. We call it mob justice, the mob is judge and executioner.
The Kenya we live in now is changing. We are more affected by the events and happenings around the world now more than ever. The issue of terrorism is not something that you watch and follow on CNN anymore, or a matter between the Muslims being against America. It is now hitting our doorsteps, the fight is now global. With western nations making it tough for the terrorists to launch attacks on them, the battlefield is slowly changing to Africa. Just think of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Destroying property and lives without fear or favor. These events used to only be in Arab nations while I was growing up. They were part of the international news during the 9 p.m bulletin but now they are the headlines of the day. Gone are the days where we were fed with 25 mintues of moi, and then international news. God that feels so long ago, times when times were much simpler. The attacks that we have received in Nairobi, Mombasa and Northern Kenya are a sign that things have changed. The security needs of Kenya have changed from ‘huyoo huyo! shika mwizi” or “being drunk in public” or one neighbour fighting the other just because his cow crossed over the fence and ate his sukumawiki. We are now dealing with bomb blasts, violent robbery, kidnapping for ransom, drug dealing all those things that for the longest were left to the confines of a nice thriller. This is now Kenyan reality.
Therefore Kenya must wake up! It must wake up to the changes that have come to us, the positive ones and the negative ones all come together. Kenya can no longer ignore things and just say “ya Mungu ni mengi” or “hayo ni majaliwa ya mwenyezi”. Kenya must first and foremost demand an overhaul or the Kenya Police Training Manual. Whatever training that goes on in Kiganjo, I AM SURE, is outdated and ineffective. I think that the only thing they still teach is crowd control and this must change. The Kenya Police that Kenya needs is one that is on the forefront in gathering intelligence and information in order to prevent crime from happening, and if a crime is committed, it should be able to swiflty and promptly solve the crime. Its therefore paramount that whatever training manual that is used be updated to meet the modern security needs.
The next thing is better equipment for the Kenya Police. There is a great need for better and more sophisticated equipment to deal with the more sophisticated crimes that are being committed on a daily basis. The thing of having cops with just G3 rifles all packed in the back of a Land Rover should stop. They only seem to appear after the crime has been commited and they do more of crowd control, its amazing that they do not shoot each other in the backs of land rovers. They should be given more patrol cars, they should be given better and more sophisticated electronic equipment for better surveillance and better intelligence gathering
Another thing that impedes quality service by Kenya Police is that politicians use them for their own political or financial gain. They should be allowed to be autonomous for them to better perform their duties. They should not be their trying to cover up the politicians asses the likes we saw on Jicho Pevu. They are there to maintain the rule of law and the constitution. Half the time they are there doing things they should not be doing, arresting the innocent and harassing the public only because the politicians meddle with them. Promotions should be on merit not based on how much you can protect the politician.
THE LAST THING, LET KENYA PAY THE KENYA POLICE BETTER. ENOUGH SAID.