A major conflict of interest has emerged between the Attorney General, Inspector General on one hand and the other police commanders following attempts to introduce a criminal intelligence wing to operate under the IG.
So serious is the matter that the leader of majority Aden Duale in the National Assembly was last week forced to refer back the Bill containing the amendments to the AG until after the “fighting” commanders agree on the way forward.
Also roped in the dispute is the ministry of Interior and Coordination which is said to have been behind the amendments.
The amendments contained in the Statute (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2016 are being protested since they are unconstitutional since the powers to investigate are solely vested on the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI).
It has further emerged that none of the commanders that is the DCI Ndegwa Muhoro, the two deputy IGs, Joel Kitili and Samuel Arachi and the chairman of the National Police Service Commission, Johnstone Kavulundi were consulted by the AG before the Bill was published.
The bill which went through the second reading last week seeks to establish a wing whose mandate will be collection of criminal intelligence.
Duale is said to have expressed his concerns that different agents in the police department had not concurred on the amendments before they were tabled in parliament and hence decided to send them back to the AG to seek for concurrence before they are subjected to a third reading.
Again it has not been stated as to what will be the role of the intended team of investigators under the IG and why the DCI has been overlooked.
Also disputed is an amendment seeking to remove the power for curriculum development from NPSC and vest the same with the IG, where again the commission has not been consulted.
The Bill further seeks to amend a raft of laws on the operations and general governance structures of the National Police Service.
Among them are, appointment of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, removal of civilians from the service, collection of intelligence as well as the deployment of county commandeers.
The bill proposes to amend the national policed service act 2011 to clarify the membership of the Kenya police service and also the deployment of county commanders from the service in the counties.
When contacted last week, Kavuludi said that his office had not been consulted on the issue and only knew about the amendments from the press.
Currently the NPSC has the powers to regularly review the training curriculum to ensure its relevance to policing requirement.
Another contentious amendments is the one giving the President a leeway to appoint an acting DIG as well as a the proposal that will see any commanders from NPSC being appointed to head a county.
The move to give the president such powers as proposed will create a lacuna in the service as the law does not outline how a substantive DIG will be appointed.
On the appointment of the commanders, the new amendment proposes that the IG in consultation with the NPSC designate county commanders from the NPS unlike before where the law provided that the senior most officer from either Kenya police (KP) Service or the Administration Police (AP) Service in consultation with the two deputy inspector general’s coordinate the operational command and control of the county.
“Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of the deputy inspector general, the president may on the recommendation of the commission appoint a suitably qualified police officer to act as deputy inspector general until the appointment of a substantive holder of the office.” The Bill further reads.
But it is the proposal to remove civilian members of staff from the service as well as give DCI the status of a Deputy Inspector General of Police and the proposal to give Administration police powers to collect intelligence that has raised eye brows.
The new law proposes that the inclusion of a clause that will give AP’s the powers to collect criminal intelligence; the commanders argue will bring rivalry between them and DCI which already has a special unit known as criminal Intelligence Unit whose purpose is to collect evidence.
On the proposal to only ensure that civilians are removed from the service and only police officers from KP, AP and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) are retained in the service, the ministry is under the spot as the commanders argue it wants to control the budget of the police as well as remove them from the NPSC.
Police top brass argued that the ministry has done this to muzzle the police as well as ensure that the civilians report to the Permanent secretary internal security which will see the ministry controlling the police budget which out of Sh 86b that it gets 90 percent of the money goes to the police sector.
On the proposal to have DCI be given the status of DIG, although most of the stake holders agreed on this, questions have emerged over how it will be implemented as the constitution only recognizes two deputy inspectors general.