Let new brooms at security HQ sweep clean

Japhet Koome

Inspector-General of Police Japhet Koome. Kenyans have a right to good policing, which they pay for through taxes. Police must do their work. They must take criticism positively and correct wrongs.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

The spate of knife stabbings, especially in Nairobi, is said to be a result of security officers’ laxity and unwillingness to arrest criminal suspects owing to the ongoing investigations into the activities of the disbanded Special Service Unit (SSU) of the police.

However, it is the duty and responsibility of police officers to maintain law and order and also protect lives and private property. Criminals steal and rob not because they lack jobs but it’s a simple route to easy money. 

In Nairobi, where the crime rate has surged, employment opportunities abound. Ever asked yourself how come youths from as far as Kisumu, Busia and Mombasa get employment in the informal sector in the capital?

They become hawkers, vending items like clothes and foodstuffs, with no time for crime. Others simply sell sugarcane, roast maize and mandazi or work as housemaids, security guards and gardeners. 

Police officers must lawfully arrest anyone breaking the law and present them in court, where, if found guilty, the suspect is punished and, if innocent, set free. SSU officers have been accused of killing suspects instead of arraigning them in court.

The death sentence is still in our laws but there’s a moratorium on its implementation; it’s often commuted to a life sentence—unless the police are insinuating that policing means gunning down criminals. 

I have never heard President William Ruto complain about police arresting criminals; he’s only against killing suspects instead of charging them in court. 

Don’t politicise policing. Kenyans have a right to good policing, which they pay for through taxes. Police must do their work. They must take criticism positively and correct wrongs.

Should police fail to stop the crime wave, the public has a right to demand a change of guard in the National Police Service, which could lead to vigilantism.

Robert Musamali, Nairobi

* * *

I thought it was hilarious when I saw one of the many memes about the increasing cases of insecurity in Nairobi that said, “Nairobi needs Batman.” But the capital city’s streets have become a reimagined version of Jumanji.

While in town the other Sunday to see a play at Kenya National Theatre, I must admit that I felt like a real adrenaline junkie as I walked from where I alighted the bus. I panicked at the sound of a motorcycle behind me. 

It did not help matters when I turned down Wabera Street and this unkempt young man shouted “Oyaa!”

The insecurity must be tackled lest it blow out of proportion.

Ian Kipyator Too, Nairobi

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.