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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Why IG Kimaiyo MUST Go

Listening to the Inspector General of police being interviewed last night on Citizen TV, one thing became very clear to Kenyans. Especially those of us who understand the Kenya police and the rot therein. We are in serious trouble. What our IG is clearly very good at is avoiding answering very important questions that affect our security. What is the point of being interviewed in the first place if you have nothing to say except defend yourself and the work (if you can call it that) you are doing?

When asked sensitive questions or pushed to a corner the IG starts by thanking the person asking the questions for the question ostensibly to give him a little more time to think what he is going to say. A better policy would have been to answer the questions directly. Admit where the police have failed and tell us precisely what he is doing to correct the situation.

Understandably there are certain security issues he cannot make public. But surely this cannot apply to every single question he was asked last night.

The most honorable thing for Bwana David Kimaiyo to do now is to resign immediately and allow another Kenyan who is competent to take over his job. Somebody else who will inspire more confidence in Kenyans in a country where being a victim of violent criminals has become the norm.

Even before we elaborate on his incompetence we need to ask a simple question. How does a man who heads our police force continue to remain in office as criminal gangs take over the country? How can he even face the press in interviews as fear spreads amongst innocent hard working Kenyans? It is totally immoral for the man to be so comfortable when the vast majority of Kenyans are so uncomfortable.

To start with the Inspector General of police is first and foremost a manager. A good manager sits down on a new job with a clear set of priorities. It is impossible to do everything. Indeed this applies to any management and leadership position, even the head of state of a country.

The question you ask yourself is what is the most urgent thing that needs to be done? You make your very short list in order of importance and then you focus and start working on tem number one. What are Kimaiyo’s priorities? Well he seems to have worked very hard to improve the police communication system as he proudly told Kenyans last night. Clearly that has to be one of his top priorities. Now what is the point of being able to quickly and easily get in touch with a police force best known for inaction? Why would any alert Kenyan want to easily call the very same policemen who have been known to frequently collude with the very criminals they may be reporting to those policemen? Doesn’t make sense to me.

At least the controversial and often criticized former Police commissioner major General Hussein Ali had a clear priority when he took over office and that was to deal with violent crime and violent gangs. Interestingly he did achieve great results and neutralized the dreaded Mungiki within a very short space of time, only that his methods were unlawful to say the least. So focused was the man that even as he left Vigilance house he was lobbying for new laws that would make being found in possession of a firearm the kind of thing no sane criminal would want to face punishment for. And remember that Ali was operating under the old constitution which he left him pretty vulnerable to the whims of the political class. Kimaiyo operating under the new constitution does not have any such worries.

Admittedly there is one thing that the IG is passionate about and that is fighting for more power and if he has his way there will be no reason for the National Police Service commission and its’ critical oversight role.

What Kenyans have heard most from the IG are endless excuses and the downplaying of serous crimes. Recently he told us with a straight face that the explosion at JKIA that destroyed sections of the roof at the JAVA was caused by a “loose light bulb that fell.” Last night when asked if he regretted that statement more excuses poured out of his mouth.

Those who like to defend our incompetent corrupt police force are always quick to tell Kenyans that the police are not equipped to fight crime effectively. This is laughable when you consider the fact that the police are not using what they already have. We have a national ID system with everybody’s fingerprints on it including many criminals (not all, but most). We also have all cell phone companies registering mobile phone users. What this means is that you can get fingerprints identify somebody and then be able to trace the precise location of the suspect you are looking for. Many countries in Africa do not have that kind of “assistance” in tracking down criminals.

It is true that the police have used this a few times but clearly they are busy with other more important stuff other than fighting serious violent crime in the country and the responsibility for this ridiculous policy can only fall squarely on the IG’s desk.

When you find the time to read newspapers you will quickly realize that the police are in fact very busy. Busy arresting people having sex on the beach and at Uhuru Park. Busy arresting those selling pornographic DVDs, busy guarding politicians, busy fighting NPSC for more power so that senior cops are less accountable. When will they ever find time from their busy schedule to address their core function?


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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some of us do not have a personal beef with Kimaiyo, however, the man has failed over and over to make overdue adjustments and improvements at Vigilance House and elsewhere.

Oddly, he has made one monumental blunder after another since he was selected to take charge of the dysfunctional and underperforming police.

He has even failed to step up to the plate on numerous occasions when it counted most for the nation.

Something will have to give, if sweeping changes do not take place within the police then Kimaiyo MUST go ASAP, or be eased out through unrelenting public pressure.

Enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

The embattled, wavering, discouraged and disgusted Kenyan people should be encouraged, empowered and strengthened to demand fidelity, bravery, integrity, justice for all, courtesy, courteous vigilance, service, security, protection, loyalty, safety, pride, professionalism, excellence through knowledge, efficiency, service with humility, in the service of the country, from the police chief and from all of his officers.

Safe Communities, A Secure Kenya.

Anonymous said...

Does Kimaiyo have any clue as to whether criminal activity in Nairobi and rest of country is severe, high, elevated, guarded or low?

Anonymous said...

Mediocrity has been systemic within the police for the last four decades years, and all the police chief is engaged in at the moment is furthering mediocrity and decay to greater lengths.

Anonymous said...

Corruption cortex that exists within the brains of senior police officers is created and fueled by greed. What has Kimaiyo done about it? What is the internal affairs and director of CID doing about it?

Anonymous said...

Kenya police is not expected nor has it ever been expected to function at the same efficient operational levels as those of law enforcement agencies like the FBI, Scotland Yard, Europol, Interpol, etc.

That being said, the police chief and all senior police officers should constantly be reminded of one ugly fact that there are so many cold cases, multiple murders, corruption cases, fraud cases, robberies, burglaries, killing of police officers, civilians and children, malicious destruction of public and government properties, billion shillings narcotic cases, etc., that have been ignored, never been investigated, solved, closed nor given the attention they deserve by the authorities, since the 1970s and 80s.

Diligent national law enforcement agencies will make sure they take care of business as expected of them by the constitution, law, civil society, regular - honest -business communities, and the general public.

Case in point, five men have been arrested on charges of murder and other crimes linked to an infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy International Airport ... made famous by the 1990 film "Goodfellas".

Anonymous said...

The IG would not be so defensive, evasive, arrogant, dismissive, patronizing, and at times clueless if he was vigilant and the type of hands-on police boss who is always engaged in preparedness, planning, staying well informed, in command and control of all police operations in the country.

Anonymous said...

What reasonable explanation, if any, or usual excuses does Kimaiyo - and his men - have for the nationwide insecurity, lawlessness and suffering caused by increased criminal activity and callous disregard of law and order by police and criminal elements within the general public?

Widespread insecurity has spiked enormous fear, uncertainty, violence, exploitation, hatred, extortion, oppression, loss of many small businesses, precious life and destruction of property in Nairobi, Mombasa and throughout other regions of the country.

Although Kenyans were promised and guaranteed a lot in terms of basic security and among other things during and after the 2002 general elections, and the passing of the new constitution, they still continue to be denied the opportunity and constitutional right of being protected by a well trained and properly functioning police force with a vigilant leadership.

So far, the nation's police and other security agencies have a failing grade when it comes to maintaining law and order, arresting criminals, suppressing crime waves, containing lawlessness, and making sure that Kenyans are safe and remain protected at all times as they go about their daily lives.

The painful question remains, when will there be any relieve from suffering, insecurity, escalating crime waves and what seems to be well coordinated chaos in the country?

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