Time to restore faith in police reforms is now

You know there is something very wrong with the security system when armed thugs have the confidence to rob people from as early as 5pm in a suburb that is only 10 minutes’ drive from the Central Business District.

Saturday March 23 2013


You know there is something very wrong with the security system when armed thugs have the confidence to rob people from as early as 5pm in a suburb that is only 10 minutes’ drive from the Central Business District.

That is what happened at the entrance of Golden Gate Estate in South B on Thursday when a gang of robbers shot and killed businessman Daniel Kyalo Mwanzia and wounded a passenger in his car.

The thugs had been robbing residents in the estate with impunity well before sunset. In many other parts of the city, residents are also living in fear.

Taxi drivers are among the most affected, and they have fallen prey to carjackers in locations ranging from Baba Dogo to Kitengela.

And the crime wave is not confined to the capital, as illustrated by the shooting of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers in Tranz Nzoia on Saturday.

This is a very serious situation that calls for serious action on the part of the police. No country can make any meaningful progress when criminals can operate without fear of sanction.

The confidence these robbers are displaying serves to sharply undermine any remaining trust the wananchi have in the police force.

The robbers pose a direct challenge to public order and are raising pointed questions about the entire leadership of the police service led by Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo.

The police must rise to the challenge. They need to examine their systems, their deployment strategies and their intelligence-gathering capacities.

Stern action must also be taken against the rotten apples within their ranks who engage in crime like the the recently uncovered case in Buru Buru Estate.

More broadly, the question of the reform of the police must receive more attention.

It is futile to reform the Judiciary and the prosecution system when the police remain stuck in their old ways. Mr Kimaiyo and company must swing into action to avoid such senseless loss of life. Criminals cannot be allowed to operate with freedom in any functional society.

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