Inside Politics

Kibicho hits back at Rigathi Gachagua over police uniform remarks

Tuesday, June 14th, 2022 16:50 | By
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho at a past function. PHOTO/Richard Mugo

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho has told off Deputy President William Ruto's running mate Rigathi Gachagua terming his threat to withdraw the new police uniform and donate them to PCEA church women's guild as disrespectful and unfortunate disparage.

The PS stated that the current police uniform was a carefully considered choice that got the endorsement of the relevant government committee.

Kibicho said the Uniform Committee, which has the final word on police uniforms, approved the blue colour to represent the unified attire following the merger of the Administration Police and the Kenya Police under the National Police Service (NPS). 

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho. PHOTO/Courtesy
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho. PHOTO/Courtesy

"The merger was intended to boost efficiency and optimize resources. Politicians who are criticizing the new uniform were being insincere as they ought to know the circumstances and the process surrounding the adoption of a neutral colour to symbolize the merger and the abandoning of the previous AP and the Kenya Police signature colours," the PS said during an interview with Kameme FM on Tuesday.

"Uniforms are not just a matter of colour. They signify certain doctrines that must be appreciated whenever a merger occurs. It is disrespectful for (Mathira MP) Rigathi Gachagua, who as a former government administrator, knows too well the role of the Uniform Committee, to contemptuously dismiss the careful considerations that informed the new uniform,” he added.

Kibicho's take on Rigathi Gachagua's pledge to replace blue police uniform

While criticizing the blue uniform, the firebrand lawmaker had threatened that Ruto's government will withdraw and donate them to the Presbyterian Church that traditionally kits members of its women's guild in blue dresses.

But the PS termed the threat an ‘unfortunate disparage’ of the church and accused the MP of opposing police reforms because the government had used the opportunity to get rid of entrenched cartels that have previously dominated procurement in the police.

Kenya Kwanza running mate Rigathi Gachagua. PHOTO/Courtesy
Kenya Kwanza running mate Rigathi Gachagua. PHOTO/Courtesy

He said police uniforms are now being wholly made in Kenya by local textiles firms based in Thika, Kitui, Nakuru and Eldoret under a Buy Kenya, Build Kenya government drive that had also significantly cut down costs. 

This enabled the hiring of more officers and the modernization of police equipment.

“By cutting out the cartels that had infiltrated our police procurement, we have been able to modernize our service and raise the ratio of police to citizens to 1:380 well beyond the UN recommended 1:450. We were also used to our officers protecting us with rungus. But we have now made sure our officers have enough guns and other tools of work,” the PS said.

He cited a comprehensive medical and group insurance cover as other key investments undertaken under President Kenyatta's administration. The Police Service now recruits degree holders into its cadet service with the recruits emerging as direct-entry police inspectors.

“We want to professionalize the Police Service so that it stops being a dumping ground for those who fail exams. We are building a service that will attract some of the best brains in our country," he added.

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