Ruto says expects police changes to improve lawful service delivery
President William Ruto is confident changes made to the National Police Service will help officers discharge their duties in full accordance with the existing laws and bring an end to illegal police actions.
Ruto made the remarks on Monday in his speech at the national celebrations held in Nairobi to mark Kenya’s 59th Jamhuri Day.
he pointed out that the change in operations and policies had placed Kenya on a path to a responsible and accountable police service.
“There is now consensus that a new policing paradigm is at hand and it is possible to achieve a high level of security for our citizens and also observe their rights and freedoms to the greatest extent,” the president said.
“We have engaged successfully to reorient policing operations from a heavy and illegitimate reliance on illegal and extrajudicial interventions which frequently entailed intolerable violations,” he added.
Ruto also used the opportunity to reiterate his pledge to improve police welfare. He promised to set up a task force before the end of the year to review terms for the National Police Service.
Human Rights Defender organizations and activists have in the past called for better police service to ensure officers are in the best mental and physical state to discharge their duties.
Experts have often attributed police irresponsibility or crimes to poor mental health, which they said was a result of poor working conditions.
The improvement in working conditions, added to the financial independence given to the police force in September, is expected to result in a more accountable security organ in Kenya, devoid of persistent police crimes such as extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.
The president’s Jamhuri day pledge came a day after a Missing Voices Coalition official stressed the need to improve police working conditions.
Alexander Mbela, the Coalition’s Coordinator, called on the government to give take good care of the country’s police officers to ensure they are in the best state to discharge their duties.
Mbela, while addressing journalists in Mombasa on Sunday to mark the International Human Rights Day, called for better pay and better working environment, which he noted were essential in providing a conducive working environment for the officers.