The Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government, retired Kenya Army Major General Joseph Nkaissery, may be displaying his usual partisan mindset in ordering withdrawal of private firearm permits and police guards assigned to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.
Mr Nkaissery also betrays his ossified ways with the outrageous declaration that no one can dare challenge the government.
Obviously, someone needs to read for him the Constitution of Kenya that allows political pluralism and the inherent right to challenge the government.
The good general could also do with a simplified primer on the history of Kenya, particularly on the battles by which Kenya attained independence from colonial rule and how the struggle for the second liberation consigned to the dustbin of history the oppressive one-party dictatorship.
Mr Nkaissery now denies that Mr Joho and his Kilifi counterpart, Amason Kingi, as well as a number of other elected leaders at the Coast, are being punished for leading the Cord campaign that denied Jubilee the Malindi parliamentary seat at the recent by-election.
Rather, says the Cabinet secretary, it is just an on-going effort to reduce the number of police officers assigned to VIPs and put them back on proper security duties.
Why the effort has to start with selected opposition politicians is quite suspect, but still, it is a big scandal that so many officers are assigned to guard politicians and other VIPs, while the rest of us daily suffer muggings, carjackings, cattle raids, murders, banditry, ethnic militias, robberies, terrorism, and other violent crimes.
A few years ago, it was revealed that of the 30,000 officers in the regular police, 3,000, or 10 per cent, were assigned to VIPs. Roughly the same ratio held for a similar number in the Administration Police.
There was a promise by the then commissioner of police to do something about it, but the situation has clearly gotten worse.
Out of a total of 80,000 or so officers in the combined National Police Service headed by Inspector-General Joseph Boinnet, over 11,000 have been removed from their core duties of protecting Kenyans.
SERVING AS DIVERS
They are instead serving as drivers, personal musclemen, watchmen, cooks, nannies, messengers, and pimps for the pampered parasitic classes of governors, Cabinet secretaries, members of Parliament, and other VIPs as well their children, spouses, concubines, and toy boys.
This criminal misallocation of resources is what allows VIPs to misuse the policemen assigned to them.
Removing such a large number of officers from their real duties also contributes directly to the state of national insecurity that fuels terrorism and other serious crimes.
Today, as I can personally attest, “ordinary” cases of carjacking, murder, armed robbery, and assault are hardly ever investigated because there are not enough police officers to go round. And the few available do not really care and would much rather station themselves at the innumerable traffic checks that are no more than extortion points.
This wastage of police resources is something Mr Nkaissery and Mr Boinnet must cure, and they should cease making it a partisan political issue.
Withdraw all policemen from Mr Joho and company, but do the same for all governors, Cabinet secretaries, MPs, and other officials who do not deserve any more security than you and I do.
If they feel insecure or they need to project power, they have the money to hire private guards and flunkies.
The thousands of policemen currently assigned to banks should also be recalled and the jobs given to private security companies, who should in this day and age be allowed to arm their vetted personnel.
If such measures can put an extra 20,000 policemen on the beat, Kenya will be a safer place for all of us, obviating the need for Very Important Parasites to have bodyguards at our expense.
There has been a lot of hullabaloo about Project X. Someone put out what was most likely a fake invite to a sex and drugs party and our self-righteous moral police led by my good friend, Kenya Film Classification Board chairman Ezekiel Mutua, are blowing hot air all over the place.
Even the police have been sucked into it.
If only the zeal being used to break up “suspected” Project X teenage gatherings would be employed against Al-Shabaab.
[email protected] Twitter: @MachariaGaitho