Tiff on police hiring, promotions pointless

Monday, June 5th, 2023 00:59 | By
Dozens of potential recruits turn up for police recruitment at a past exercise.
Dozens of potential recruits turn up for police recruitment at a past exercise. PHOTO/Courtesy

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) and the then Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti have for a long time been fighting over the small matter of the decision to charge.

But two High Court judgements last year settled the issue, asserting that though the roles of the investigator and the prosecutor are complimentary, the decision to charge rests with the office of the DPP. Legal experts have argued that separation of investigative and prosecutorial functions was not accidental but a well thought out intention aimed at redeeming the country from a history of abuse of human rights. In one of the rulings, Justice George Odunga declared that the office of the DCI must keep to its lawful lane and desist from the temptation to overlap even where it believes that those who are constitutionally empowered to take action are dragging their feet.

That is why we find the latest conflict between the IG and the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) over their mandates unnecessary because there is no clash in the founding laws.

The commission accuses the IG of not implementing some of its decisions as well as usurping its human resource functions. This does not augur well for the service considering the fact that the IG is subordinate to the commission, though the law empowers him to work independently. The commission has warned the IG’s unilateralism could bear ethical, legal and public finance management implications.

As the top law enforcer, Koome should strive to operate within the law. The NPSC referred to in Article 246(1) whose functions are stipulated in 246(3)(a) is not a person but a civilian authority to which NPS is subordinate. The same commission has the mandate of recruiting and appointing persons to hold or act in offices in the service, confirming appointments, and determining promotions and transfers within the NPS.

A critical and objective analysis of the Constitution only reveals that the perceived overlapping mandates is as a result of wrong and selective interpretation of the law.

The National Assembly’s Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) should act and protect the commission’s mandate, support the proposed legislative amendments to address the gaps discussed, and enhance its budgetary capacity.

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