Police warned of Facebook posts

Friday March 22 2013

Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo. PHOTO / FILE

Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo. PHOTO / FILE 

By FRED MUKINDA [email protected]

Police officers have been told to keep off social sites like Facebook when presenting their grievances.
Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo gave the order on Thursday and added that complaints would only be received through conventional ways.

Complainants thought to be police officers have opened accounts on Facebook, and mostly expressed anger over unpaid allowances for services provided before and after the General Election.

“Resorting to social media may be construed to imply an element of mischief on the part of the police officers. The avenues available to them include the Independent Policing Oversight Authority, the Internal Affairs Unit, and the Service standing orders among others. Failing to make use of them will be counterproductive,” Mr Kimaiyo said in a statement.

Regarding the unpaid allowances, the police chief said they would be paid in March and April salaries.

His statement was read by Administration Police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi.

“Arrangements to have the allowances paid have been finalised. Many officers might have expected to be given the allowances in cash but this is not the case since as one of the measures to cleanse our payrolls, all money is paid through individuals’ bank accounts,” he said.

Thousands of officers were posted to areas where violence was likely to occur.

Harass their juniors

Mr Kimaiyo also warned that legal action would be taken against offending officers.

“Police officers should ensure they operate within the law governing their oath of office and they should further remember that any incidents or aspects of indiscipline will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” he said.

The IG also cautioned his lieutenants against mistreating junior officers. “Senior officers are advised to treat and handle their juniors with utmost professionalism and likewise juniors should obey all lawful orders under which they operate in,” Mr Kimaiyo said.

Last week, IPoa released a report that castigated senior police officers, saying, they regularly harass their juniors and fail to act on matters reported by the public.

While the report said top police commanders failed to help aggrieved Kenyans, officers in lower cadres accused them of authorising irregular dismissals and transfers.

The civilian oversight body headed by Mr Macharia Njeru was established last year to handle complaints against the officers.