Members of the National Police Service (NPS) under whose specialised agencies are domiciled in the various police formations are up in arms protesting yesterday’s remarks by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua saying they amount to labeling them incompetent.
Yesterday, while addressing members of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) at a hotel in Mombasa during their 40th annual seminar, Gachagua said Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (Eacc) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) should hire professionals from different fields instead of engaging police officers to investigate complex matters.
The DP added that Eacc and other security agencies should hire professionals like accountants and bankers, instead of police officers, to investigate financial crimes.
“Sometimes police officers are assigned to investigate complex issues that they cannot comprehend like on financial accounting. Eacc should hire professionals in every filed as investigators like bankers and accountants to deal with financial crimes because such areas are complex.” The DP remarked.
In a rejoinder, officers who spoke to The Informer Media Group on condition on anonymity for fear of reprisals termed DP’s remarks as “unfortunate and a recipe for depicting the service as unattractive profession.” One of the senior officers observed.
“It is unfortunate that came from second in command in this country. The National Police Service has a cocktail of professionals in various fields who have attained the highest level of qualifications both locally and internationally. We are professionals. The sentiments made is a total misrepresentation of the professional standing of the disciplined services. This works against the ideals of promoting community policing, creating confidence amongst civilians and the standing of NPS in the society.” Another senior officer added.
The National Police Service is classified into; Kenya Police Service (KPS), Administration Police Service (APS) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
Most of the specialised units are domiciled under DCI key among them the Homicides Unit, Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU), Forensics, Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Crime Research & Intelligence Bureau (CRIB), Reforms and National Central Bureau (Interpol) among others.
Internationally, Kenya’s disciplined services have been rated highly and senior police officers elected to serve in international policing positions.
For example, in November 2021, former DCI Director George Kinoti was elected to the INTERPOL Executive Committee to represent Africa during the 89th session of the INTERPOL General Assembly, in Istanbul, Turkey. Kinoti.
He was overwhelmingly voted to represent Africa at the key security organ, that brings together over 195 member states from across the world for a period of three years.
Interpol is headquartered in Lyon, France, has a global complex for innovation in Singapore and several satellite offices in different regions.
In his address yesterday, Gachagua cited harassment by police officers attached to the DCI during the last regime over source of his Sh200million wealth.
Gachagua said that if his case was handled by a professional accountant, it may have not ended in court.
Further, he stated that due to shoddy investigations by police officers on various matters, the Taskforce on Police Reforms chaired by retired Chief Justice David Maraga has recommended recruitment of professionals as inspectors.
The Maraga led team also recommended the sacking of the leadership of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC).
To lay emphasis on his remarks that have now sparked raging outrage amongst members of the disciplined service, Gachagua asked members of professional bodies to apply for the jobs once the recommendations are implemented.
The move, he said, will improve and maintain standards in the national agency involved in fighting graft.
He was accompanied by the Cabinet Secretary for East African Community, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) and Regional Development Peninah Malonza, Principal Secretary National Treasury Chris Kiptoo, chairman of the National Assembly Finance and National Planning Committee Kuria Kimani (Molo MP), Mohammed Ali (Nyali MP), Feisal Bader (Msambweni MP), Stanley Muthama (Lamu West), Lamu Senator) Joseph Kamau), ICPAK officials among other leaders.
He welcomed a request by ICPAK to advise the government on public debt management who advised that the mode of operation for president William Ruto’s administration is engagement and consultancy with professionals so as to enrich our thinking.
“We appreciate that ICPAK has pronounced itself on a number of issues related to revenue collection, especially what you term as double taxation and capping on maximum tax…The truth is that our challenge is public debt…we did not make it ourselves. After swearing-in on the first day, I spoke about the status of the economy we inherited and said that we found a Sh9.6trillion debt, Sh900 billion pending bills, Eurobond of USD 2 billion and a demoralised public service. We were facing a potential economic shutdown. The truth must be said.” The DP remarked.