I wrote about the police force and the job’s inherent lack of dignity in my Daily Nation column #FrontRow on Tuesday. A cop who asked not to be identified emailed me a personal story I thought deserved to be shared widely:
Thank you for published article Mr. Madowo.
You have not come out very clearly on the issue of poor living conditions, long working hours, lack of equipments and tools.
Talk to one police officer in town he/she will tell you how comfortable he/she feels and how scary they feel when rumour of transfers is heard in most cases to hardship areas like north eastern and the north rift. A police officer currently is paid 600 shillings for hardship allowance, a figure which used to have value in 1970s. We may criticize police officers but its the government itself not willing to upgrade service delivery of this force. How do expect to milk a bony and dying Freshian cattle?
What will make an officer living in a tent with others four or five fellows not to get corrupt immediately he/she get a transfer from that scatty life?
Transfers are always influenced by either politicians or other retired prominent officer or others in the force. It’s a project/research l am giving a reader of this go to weighbridges, Parliament, central bank and other risk free police stations. You will realize that names appearing are of prominent know people’s cousins, uncles or fathers.
The police force itself can not liberate itself if someone will do all he/she can to avoid a transfer to horns of the country.
Only police officers from the less fortunate in the society report to such transfers. And if it happens the big fish’s daughter or son is caught he/she will not finish two months there. Yet we have others who have worked in hardship areas throughout their (professional) lives of finish more than four years in volatile hazardous stations and counties. This makes me wonder whether even God is seeing this police force.
Kenyans will still experience insecurity and poor service delivery from police. Even the president himself keeps on promising goodies for the police but many are not convinced it will work. How do you insure a police officer who is hungry, has no morale, has no tools, uses old fashioned rifles and you pay him 600 shillings as hardship allowance? Even if the government insures this forgotten force for trillions of shillings without paying them well there is nothing like good and proper service delivery from this.
Government tried to solve the issue of long working hours for police officers but how do you recruit 10, 000 officers while the 2011 details still sleep outside or sleep in shanty tents? It is better to have two police officers in a station well equipped, trained and paid than have 100 who sleep in turns in a 6 by 8 hall.
Again human rights (activists) have played a major roll in deteriorating security. How do you agitate for equal slots in police vacancies while they clearly know a woman can not navigate in valleys and mountains doing police work like fellow men? Police will continue to give bad service due to government failure to address the salary issues and the Kenyan people for taking the police force as a dust bin for the worst performers in school.