Need to expedite police reforms, Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa advises
Written by Carolyn Wamalwa
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Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa has decried the pace at which police reforms are being handled, urging the two coalition partners to speed up the process, especially the appointment of persons to comprise the police body, a key organ in the country’s security as the country gears towards the polls.
Wamalwa added that he was delighted by the Prime Minister’s sentiments, whom he says has promised to consult with the president over the issue to ensure that the police commission is immediately established, to conduct the reforms promptly.
The minister hailed the reforms realized in other sectors especially the judiciary under the stewardship of Chief Justice Willy Mutunga; adding that land reforms procedures also need to be hastened including the appointment of the land commission and the immediate implementation of land laws to avoid chaos arising from land issues as it has been witnessed in the earlier years.
“Judicial reforms we have done very well, I think it is the centre piece of our reform progress, but police reforms we are urging the principles, because of politics we were unable to agree on the commission and the appointment of the inspector general of police. The prime minister has assured us today that with consultations the two principles should be able agree and we must have a police commission in place so that as we prepare for elections, we must also ensure that as we prepare for the general elections we have sufficient security arrangements apart from legislation and the necessary institutions that we have put in place,” he said.
The sentiments were echoed by Constitutional Implementation Commission chairman Charles Nyachae who regretted that nine months since the passing of the two police reforms bills in parliament, the appointment of the commissioners and Inspector general had not been conducted and no substantiated justification has been put forth.
“The national police commission Act was passed in September last year and up to now, that is nine months down the line the commission is not in place. It is not clear what has caused this delay but we really do not think that there is justification for being in that situation because the commission needs to be in place, the inspector general and the deputies need to be appointed. It does not move the process forward if the law is passed as was the national police service Act and the national police service commission Act, both were passed and then we do not implement by putting into place the commission,” said Nyachae.
Nyachae also dismissed accusations by the parliament Constitution implementation oversight committee chairman Abdikadir Mohamed that his commission is supervising parliament, with reference to statutes law miscellaneous amendment Bill, adding that parliament is subordinate to the country’s constitution and that CIC is merely discharging its mandate in matters constitutional guided by Article two and three of the constitution.
He further blamed by government which he said has lagged behind in constitution implementation especially by delaying to publish policies to help implement passed laws.
This development comes at a time when the country prepares to mark the second anniversary since the promulgation of the current constitution.
Subsequently, the Prime Minister Dr.Raila Odinga wants the Independent Electoral and boundary Commission (IEBC) to guarantee Kenyans free and fair elections now that the government had met their financial needs.
He challenged the commission to assure the nations that the Ksh 17 billion they requested was enough to conduct a credible exercise to avert the anomalies witnessed during the last general polls.
The premier said the government had revised the budgetary allocation to the IEBC on several occasions to fully cover the financial requirements of the polls.
He asked the security agencies to observe neutrality during the exercises to avoid a repeat of events that characterized the 2007 general elections.
“When I tried to meet ECK chairman when I found my name missing, police stopped me. APs were recruited as poll agents,” The Dr Odinga said.
The premier insisted that the participation of the public on policy legislation must be clearly spelt out to minimize time wasted on unnecessary consultative forums.
He said the executive was wrongly accused of delaying with the bills but attributed the anomaly to the bureaucratic tendencies in the legislative process.
The Premier regretted that the legislation supposed to anchor the new constitution were taking tool longer to be enacted because the policy paper were repeatedly subjected to public scrutiny before the draft bills were presented to the cabinet.
He asked stakeholders during the daylong session held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre to develop a road map on the stages the opinion of the public were deemed necessary.
The talks attracted at least 40 public institutions and 38 Non state organizations.