President William Ruto has assured that his administration will inject resources to provide all police officers with uniforms and a comprehensive health insurance scheme.
Dr Ruto directed the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome and Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, to ensure that resources are availed to purchase uniforms to police officers, unlike in the past where they were required to buy them using their own money.
President Ruto made the announcement on Tuesday during the passing out ceremony for 2,881 recruits at the National Police College main campus at Kiganjo in Nyeri County.
“Even as we wait for the recommendations from the taskforce on police and prison reforms, each officer will get the requisite uniform. I do not expect what has been happening in the past that officers are asked to buy uniforms using their own money,” Dr Ruto said.
“It is my expectation that these officers will be given uniforms by the Government of Kenya. I expect that the uniform that these men and women will be given will be of the quality and meets the requisite standards so that they execute security functions in the Republic of Kenya,” Dr Ruto said.
During the election campaigns, Kenya Kwanza coalition had pledged to conduct reforms in the police service, including revoking the new blue police uniform if they won the polls.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, while addressing the Kenya Kwanza County Economic Forum in Nyandarua County, pledged to sort out the salaries of the officers which he said have stagnated since President Mwai Kibaki left office.
Dr Ruto assured that all police officers and their families be accorded a comprehensive health insurance scheme by the government.
He said the government will effectively provide the insurance scheme, starting this month, so as to cater for the health and psycho-social needs of the police officers.
“Cognisant of the importance of the health and psycho-social needs of police officers, the government will provide a comprehensive insurance scheme, effective this month, available to members of the police and prisons services, and their families,” Dr Ruto said.
He said that construction of two hospitals belonging to the is complete and the facilities are fully equipped.
“Additionally, two fully-equipped National Police Service (NPS) hospitals are complete, and will soon be ready to serve members of the service. This will ensure that the police finally have access to priority, dedicated and appropriate facilities for physical and mental wellness,” Dr Ruto said.
He said that his decision to grant the NPS financial autonomy has helped in the fight against corruption and improved efficiency in service delivery to Kenyans.
“The decision also provided impetus in the fight against corruption, improved citizen confidence in the police, thereby enhancing the institution’s credibility and authority, and ended the culture of weaponising the criminal justice system,” he added.
The Head of State directed the leadership of Kenya army, Kenya Police and Prisons to consult with the State Department for Housing and Urban Development so as to fast-track and prioritise the delivery of affordable houses for the officers.
“In connection with the welfare and conditions of service, we have prioritised the provision of spacious, comfortable, safe, secure and affordable housing for police officers in our affordable housing programme. This will go a long way in delivering our pledge to address the housing shortage facing members of the service,” Dr Ruto said.
He said his administration will enhance community-police partnerships to improve police effectiveness and responsiveness in addressing emerging security challenges.
Dr Ruto urged the new officers to remain steadfast and professional while delivering services to Kenyans.
“Kenya is ready for a new policing paradigm. This is a most auspicious day for you, because you arrive ready for this moment in the service’s institutional history. There is no turning back, and I urge you to remain steadfast and forward-looking as we embrace the future of the police, as an essential service, noble profession and high calling,” the President said.
He exuded confidence that the task-force on police and prison reforms, chaired by the retired Chief Justice David Maraga, will address the terms and conditions of service that have been constraining the officers to deliver services.
“We have delivered on our commitment by establishing the police and prisons service reforms task-force that was formed on Monday to look into a range of issues affecting the police officers as far as the terms and conditions of service are concerned,” Dr Ruto said.
“I am a great believer that we should professionalise every institution. We believe that there is absolutely no difference between what I am doing as President and what these officers do in their respective capacities because we both serve the people of Kenya. Everybody must have the best opportunity and requisite environment for them to deliver on their mandate,” he added.