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How Fighting In Police Commission Has Derailed Police Operations

Tens of pending promotions within the National Police Service cannot be addressed because of a new war between commissioners at the National Police Service Commission.

Some commissioners at the police employer are not seeing each other over differences in their modus operandi.

This has derailed major functions in the service including tens of promotions that lie unattended to and hence has affected operations at large.

The commission was supposed to meet two weeks ago to ratify promotions of police officers including that of Deputy Inspector General of Kenya Police Douglas Kanja, new General Service Unit Commandant Eliud Lagat, and Eastern regional police commander Joseph Ole Napeiyan among dozens of others.

“They have disagreed on who should do what and when. This has affected many pending issues within the police,” said an insider.

The group of commissioners led by chairman Eliud Kinuthia have protested and accused others of usurping their mandate.

They say Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome’s decision on the promotion and recruitment of officers is illegal.

Koome has been transferring police officers which has angered Kinuthia and his group.

This has put him on a collision course with his employer, the NPSC.

They now accuse IG of usurping its human resource functions.

They say Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki is not helping either.

Kindiki is supposed to summon the commission and agree on how they will work.

On one side is Koome with Deputy Inspector General of Kenya Police Kanja and his APS counterpart Noor Gabow while on the other are other nonuniformed commissioners.

This is a replica of fighting that had been happening in the commission in the past years which was however addressed through dialogue.
NPSC commissioners, while appearing before the National Assembly’s Constitu- tional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) on May 30, said in their endeavor to execute their mandate, faced several challenges and impediments, including the IG’s refusal to implement their decisions.

The commission said the ministry has been usurping its constitutional mandate without consultation.

NPSC chief executive Peter Leley and his members met the committee to highlight its progress in fulfilling its mandate as outlined in the Constitution, enabling legislation, and developing regulations and policies.

The Commission maintained that Koome was subordinate to NPSC and should fully comply with the legal policy, and institutional regulatory framework guiding the team’s human resource functions.

Commission’s major grievance is that Koome has single-handedly made decisions on appointments and promotions without involving them.

By virtue of his position, IG and his deputies are members of the commission.

“The Inspector General of Police has severally cited Article 245(4) of the Consti- tution as the reason for not implementing decisions of the commission on recruit- ment, appointments, confirmation in ap- pointments, dismissal, transfers, and pro- motions,” the commission told the House team.

They further noted that Koome’s actions had resulted in numerous irregular and unprocedural decisions with ethical, legal, and public finance management implications.

Some commissioners claimed Koome was dishing out promotions to cronies without following any competitive criteria and without determi- nation by the commission.

They accuse him of exploiting a provision in the Constitution that requires him to run the commission “independently.”

According to NPSC, the ‘commission’ referred to in Article 246(1) whose functions are stipulated in 246(3)(a) is not a person but a civilian authority to which National Police Service is subordinate.

Under Article 246(3), the functions of the commission include “recruit and appoint persons to hold or act in offices in the service, confirm appointments, and determine promotions and transfers within the National Police Service.”

Article 239(5) stipulates that the national security organs are subordinate to civilian authority.

The Commission also told CIOC that the perception of the office of the IG as being independent has affected his performance.
This will at the long run affect service delivery for the citizen and may prolong the time he takes to settle down.

“The commission, thus, recommends implementation of a performance contract and evaluation for officers of senior ranks on HR related matters,” NPSC recommended.

NPSC said the perceived overlapping mandates were as a result of wrong and selective interpretation of the Constitution.

The Constitution expects the IG to exercise independent command over the Service.

Article 245(4) states that the Cabinet Secretary responsible for police services may lawfully give a direction to the IG with respect to any matter of policy for the ser- vice.

Constitution further states that no person may give a direction to the IG with respect to the investigation of offenses, enforcement of the law against any person, or the employment, assignment, promotion, suspension, or dismissal of any member of the service.

NPSC, however, maintained that the “no person” envisaged in Article 245(4) is in reference to Cabinet Secretary.

The CS may give instructions to IG but not on matters that are a reserve of the commission,” Leley said.

The commission has now warned that HR management decisions made by the Inspector General for officers and civilian members of staff without determination and approval are unethical, illegitimate, and vulnerable to litigations and subject to financial management discrepancies in audit queries, employees’ pension and psychosocial wellbeing of the police officers.

Any interference with the payroll man- agement and administration without com- mission approval is contrary to Leadership and Integrity Act 2012 and Article 10, 232 of the CoK on values and principles of good governance of public service.”

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