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{SPEECH} Changes aimed at streamlining police operations – Uhuru

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is a pleasure for me to join you this morning to usher in a new and transformative model of policing and service to the Republic and people of Kenya. I note the theme of today’s Conference “Promoting Trust, Professionalism and Synergy in Security Sector for National Development”, indeed, resonates well with our agenda to transform our nation.

You will agree with me, security underpins any nation’s ability to achieve sustained social and economic development. And its provision calls for men and women ready to serve their motherland with unqualified dedication.

I am proud to say that most of the men and women marching here today approach their duty with bravery, honesty and commitment. I salute them, and give thanks to them on behalf of the Nation.

We also recognize, and will never forget, those who cannot be with us today because they paid the ultimate price while performing their duty.

From the earliest days of my Administration, it has been clear to me that our security services must be effective and impartial in enforcing the law to give confidence to the investors and entrepreneurs, who, without any doubt, we need to build an economy strong enough to create wealth and jobs for our youth.

Kenyans want to be policed by men and women who are fair; men and women who help rather than hinder economic and business activity; and men and women who make a stand against corruption and abuse of office.

The comprehensive changes we are ushering today are meant to deepen the transformation of the police, and, indeed, our overall national security.

These changes will improve the morale of policemen and women by improving their conditions of service.

They will clarify and simplify command and control to increase accountability and performance; and they will make our police more than equal to the threats to our Nation.

This is a journey we have been on since 2013. When I took office in 2013, the National Police Service Budget was just over Ksh 50 billion; today, we have almost doubled that allocation, tangibly demonstrating our commitment to the reform agenda.

Moreover, the National Police Service had under 3,000 cars many of them hampered by poor maintenance and repair. Today, we have almost 5,000 vehicles, half of them better maintained through a leasing model we adopted. As a result, police mobility has sharply increased, and, with it, faster response to the needs of Kenyans.

Today, we have a 24-hour Communication and Command Centre in Nairobi and Mombasa, which allows our officers to advance investigations, catch criminals, and, sometimes, even prevent crimes.

We have made aggressive investments in equipment, in raising salaries and improving the physical conditions for our officers, because we believe and know the importance of their service.

We will continue making these investments. In addition, it has been long obvious that there was an even more urgent need in reforming the structure and culture of the police. To this end, I had directed the Cabinet Secretary of Interior and the Inspector General to develop a comprehensive package of reforms. They have done my orders proud by going the extra mile to propose well thought-out proposals produced, through far-reaching consultations with the National Assembly and the Senate, religious organizations and civil society.

I thank the Cabinet Secretary and the Inspector-General for your leadership in this process. Equally, to all those who gave their suggestions for their constructive and thoughtful contributions, I say, Asanteni sana.

I am proud to launch the “Policy Framework and Strategy for the Reorganisation of the National Police Service”. It reflects the ambition I expect and its recommendations are actionable, and will be implemented to completion.

Going forward, I now direct the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior and the Inspector-General, National Police Service, to proceed as follows: (i) Eliminate overlap and duplication in reporting functions: to reorganise the National Police Service command structure in conformity with NPS Act 2011; and to assign specific and distinct functions to the Deputy Inspector Generals and Director of Criminal Investigations; (ii) The Deputy Inspector General, Kenya Police Service (KPS) will now focus on Public Safety and Security; the Deputy Inspector General, Administration Police Service (APS) will focus on Protective and Border Security, as well as combating cattle rusting and banditry.

The Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) shall focus on criminal investigations; (iii) Eliminate waste, duplication and overlap by integrating 39,680 KPS and 24,572 APS General-duty Police Officers under the command of the Deputy Inspector-General, KPS. That will leave us a total of 64,252 Police Service General-duty Police, given the unified command we can expect better security for Kenyans; (iv) Institute refresher training for all new general-duty police officers to instill a common understanding of police-station work and to build a feeling of pride and mutual loyalty that will be symbolized by a joint pass-out parade; and (v) Introduce better visibility of police officers, new uniforms.

To better combat transnational threats, the Rural Border Patrol Unit will change to the Border Police Unit, and its strength will double to 6,000 officers. They will be under the command of the APS Deputy Inspector-General.

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To enhance protection of critical National Infrastructure and support National Government functions, the Security of Government Buildings Units (SGB) and Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit (CIPU) units will be integrated, and their strength raised from 4,773 to 8,280 officers — under the command of the Deputy Inspector-General, APS.

Further, the Kenya Police Service Anti-Stock Theft Units, and the Administration Police Stock Theft Prevention Units will be integrated, and their strength, raised to 5,000 — under the command of Deputy Inspector-General, APS.

To solve the problem of housing police and prisons officers, and to better integrate them with the Kenyans they serve, the policy of mandatory and free housing for junior officers in institutional houses is hereby abolished. Instead, house allowances for all ranks of these officers will be provided.

To effect the new policy, I direct the National Treasury to initiate the termination of all leases with landlords of Police Estates within 90 days of the effective date of the new allowances. Officers in these estates will be required to enter into private tenancies with property owners.

Subsequently, all officers in shared houses, or those housed in structures in police lines, shall vacate them within 90 days of the date of the allowances, and integrate themselves in their communities and neighbourhoods. Separate shift quarters for male and female officers on duty and those on standby for duty will be provided.

There will also be the integration of Posts and Patrol Bases within a Police Station jurisdiction area. This will make the Police Station the centre of policing service delivery under the command of Officer Commanding Police Station (OCS). The mandate of the OCS will be expanded to include Ward Commander commanding Police Posts and Patrol Bases within the respective area of operation, and to provide support to the National Government functions. All Police Ward, Posts and Outposts formerly under APS shall fall under General Duty (GD) Police.

Police geographic and operational boundaries will be aligned with current administrative boundaries to deliver a unified command organised as follows: (i) One Regional Police Commander (RPC), (ii) One County Police Commander (CPC) (iii) One Sub County Police Commander (SPC), and (iv) Officer Commanding Police Station (OCS)/Ward Commander in charge of a Police Station and its Posts/ Patrol Bases.

Consequently, in order to create harmony of command, eliminate overlap and duplication in parallel and lateral commands, the following positions, where they existed, are abolished. These are: (i) APS Regional Commander, (ii) KPS Regional Commander; (iii) DCI Regional Commander; (iv) County Coordinating Commander; (v)KPS County Commander; (vi) APS County Commander; (vii) DCI County Commander; (viii) APS Sub County Commander; (ix) DCI Sub County Commander; (x) KPS Officer Commanding Police Divisions (OCPD); (xi) District Administration Police Commander (DAPC); (xii) APS Ward Commander.

There shall be a rebranding and renaming of all National Police Service Training Colleges as follows: (i) Kenya Police Training College is renamed National Police College, Kiganjo Campus; (ii) Administration Police Service Training College is renamed National Police College, Embakasi (A) Campus; (iii)General Service Training School is renamed National Police College, Embakasi (B) Campus; (iv) Senior Staff College Loresho is renamed National Police Service Senior Staff College Loresho Campus; (v) Senior Staff College Emali is renamed National Police Service Staff College, Emali Campus; (vi) GSU Magadi Training School is renamed National Police Service College, Magadi Field Campus; and (vii) Border Police Training School is renamed National Police Service College, Border Police Training Campus.

To hasten implementation of these reforms, I further direct as follows: (i) The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to provide leadership and ensure all other security agencies are informed and coordinated to harness synergy, and continued cooperation and support; (ii) The Inspector General National Police Service to begin effecting the new command structure and implementation of the reorganization programme with immediate effect; (iii) The National Treasury proceeds to operationalise Part XVI of the National Police Service Act 2011 on financial provisions with immediate effect; and (iv) Subsequently, The National Treasury is directed to factor the additional funding requirement for these new allowances for police and prisons officers in the supplementary budget, to effect the new Housing Policy with effect from 1st December 2018.

It is important for Police officers to understand that the Kenyan people are funding and supporting these changes so that you can serve them better. Kenyans honour dedication and integrity, and you are now in a far better position, as a result of these reforms, to fulfil their expectations. I will continue to support you, while holding you to the highest standards.

As the National Police Service embarks on this critical stretch in its transformation journey, I urge all other security organs and agencies — and, indeed, every Kenyan — to support it. These reforms, effectively implemented, will transform the Service, strengthen the rule of law, and help us keep Kenyans safe and, indeed, make Kenya the investment destination of choice.

It is now my pleasure to declare the “Policy Framework and Strategy on Reorganisation of National Police Service” and the Ministry Newsletter officially launched. I also declare the 2018 National Security Conference officially opened.

I wish you all fruitful deliberations, and may God bless you.

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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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