Police Reforms is a priority
I am compelled to write this article by the opinion of the former President Daniel Moi a few days ago while celebrating yet another of his birthday at Kabarak University, in Nakuru. Moi opines that police reforms should be put on hold until elections are over. His fears are founded on grounds that elaborate reforms would require time for the new structures to function smoothly and that the current police system is well versed with issues affecting the country more so at a time when we are approaching the general elections.
I find these observations very interesting considering the timing and the fact that they are being conveyed by a former president. Having said that, I fully agree with him on the need to allocate ample time to prosecute these reforms but find preposterous the claim that police as constituted today should be spared reforms to serve Kenyans in the coming elections. To me, his latter point would have made sense if he proposed deferral of the election date to accommodate police reforms. I understand talk of election date deferral is a contentious issue, a controversy of grand scale, but that has got nothing to do with the benefit that can accrue from a well-orchestrated plan to implement police reforms.
In understanding the justification for police reforms, people must understand the dynamics in the security sector which is affected by the economic factors (expansion or shrinkage), population growth, technological advancement, and other social trends. Police professionalism and capacity are frontline issues that must take precedent over other subsidiary issues. Although morale is a significant factor in enhancing performance, it cannot replace values, training, and technical professional skills that operatives or law enforcement agents are supposed to possess. In this light, it is therefore important that we go beyond police housing and remuneration in thinking police reforms and instead explore meaningful...