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IG nominee Hilary Mutyambai faces joint House teams

Thursday March 28 2019

Hilary Mutyambai

Mr Hilary Mutyambai, the nominee for the position of the Inspector-General of Police. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DAVID MWERE
By DAVID MWERE
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A full in-tray awaits the new Inspector General of Police as a joint committee of the National Assembly and Senate vets Mr Hilary Mutyambai on Thursday.   

Mr Mutyambai was nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta two weeks ago to replace Mr Joseph Boinnet whose four-year non-renewable term ended mid this month.

Mr Boinnet has since been appointed Environment and Natural Resources Chief Administrative Secretary.

Last week, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said that the House will delay its scheduled short recess by a week to join the Senate in vetting the IG nominee.

He will be vetted by the joint committees on Administration and National Security of the National Assembly and Defense and Foreign Relations of the Senate.

The joint committee will either approve his nomination as the country’s third IG under the new Constitution or reject it. If rejected, the President will forward another name for approval.

VETTING

On Wednesday, Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale urged the MPs to observe the strict timelines provided for in the vetting of the IG nominee under the Public Appointments (Parliamentary) Approval Act.

“It is important that Parliament vets the nominee within the timeline provided before this House goes on recess,” Mr Duale said.

In the event that Parliament fails to vet the nominee within the timeline, he will be deemed to have been approved for appointment by the President.

Among the assignments that await Mr Mutyambai, if he is endorsed by the MPs and appointed by the President, include implementing a wide range of reforms that have only existed on paper.

He has the task of actualising the merger of the Regular Police and the Administration Police units under the National Police Service (NPS).

NEW CONSTITUTION

Before the new Constitution, the two units worked separately with independent budgetary allocations.

The stalled merger means that the Regular Police are still manning police stations across the country as the APs continue to serve in chiefs’ camps among others.

The new IG will also be required to ensure that they work together seamlessly- as a unitary service.  

Corruption has been the single most bloat in the NPS. To restore confidence within the corruption-ridden service, the IG has to eliminate the vice through constant trainings as well as enhanced perks and improved living conditions.

Complaints of police being misused, especially during political campaigns and general elections, should be a thing of the past. 

If appointed, Mr Mutyambai must ensure that the police discharge their duties professionally. 

CONFIDENCE

There is also a feeling of lack of confidence in the service in terms of its own leadership in the recent years.

There is no doubt that President Kenyatta has a liking for the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to lead the service.

The outgoing IG- Mr Boinnet and Mr Mutyambai are former NIS officers. The appointment of the police bosses outside the service could be an indication of lack of confidence in the service.

Former IG- David Kimaiyo and his predecessor Mr Mathew Iteere grew within the ranks.

HOUSE ALLOWANCE

The new IG will also come in hardly three months after the police officers were ordered to vacate the government-leased houses from January this year and find their own accommodation.

Junior officers in Nairobi say that the Sh9,500 housing allowance they are offered is too little, especially once the other expenses- water and electricity, are factored in.

The government had planned to pay the officers living in Nairobi Sh18,124, those living in Mombasa Sh13,124, while those in Nakuru, Kisumu, Meru and Uasin Gishu among other counties, were to get Sh8,124.

There is also the need to harmonise the transfers and promotions within the service to ensure that it is done fair and on merit.