Interior and Security Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has dismissed the current police vetting exercise headed by the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) as meaningless and a waste of time. Nkaissery said the vetting, had killed morale in the police force and asked the parliament to disband the Johnstone Kavuludi led commission together with the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA).
Speaking last Friday in Mbumbuni, Makueni County, when he officially opened Mbooni East deputy commissioner’s office, the security CS said he will compile a report on the vetting exercise and present it to the parliament as a petition to have the National Police Service Commission Act, 2011 repealed and sent home the two oversight bodies.
Nkaissery said the act, had been formed due to pressure from the civil society and wondered what the commission would achieve by vetting a senior police officer who had worked in the service for more than 30 years.
“How do you vet an officer who has 30 years’ experience for the same job ,this exercise is just a waste of time and we cannot afford to have such laws,” he said.
The CS added that those heading the vetting had no idea what police work entailed and therefore could not determine which officer was fit for the job or not.
“The wrong man is vetting the right man, how does a civilian who does know the command structure in the force examine a police officer?” he posed.
The CS also noted that some of the questions asked during the vetting were not only embarrassing but also portrayed police officers in bad light.
“To ask a police officer who has served in the police force for close to three decades why he has sh3 million on camera is humiliating and demeaning aren’t police officers supposed to save,” he asked.
Nkaissery’s sentiments comes shortly after a senior police officer wept during a vetting session in Eldoret town.
The National Police Service Commission is an independent government commission established under the Constitution to ensure smooth functioning of the National Police Service (NPS). It is mandated to exercise disciplinary control over and remove persons holding or acting in offices within the service through vetting.
Vetting of close to 78,000 police officers by the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) began in November last year and is expected to to end in August 2015.
However, human rights groups and security specialists in Kenya have also expressed concerns of the process especially its delays, lack of transparency and little public participation.
The vetting process could be thrown into limbo after the chair’s name appeared in the list of shame of 175 public officers accused of corruption by the anti graft body. In the list, but whose names were not made public, is over 100 police officers under investigations and whose names are with the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett.
Kavuludi is accused of financial impropriety and abuse of office at the NPSC and with the president’s directive that those mentioned in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) list should step aside, it is still not clear whether the vetting will stop or continue.