My piece on police reform in The Star: “Could Kimaiyo be Kenya’s Kivuitu of 2013?”

“Could Kimaiyo be Kenya’s Kivuitu of 2013?”

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. . . [H]e is in a new position set down on top of an old and dysfunctional organisation that he has inherited and that he does not have time to change before the election.

The news already reports a rift over appointment authority between Kimaiyo and the chair of the new National Police Service Commission—the kind of kinks in a new system that should be expected and that inevitably take time.

Ultimately, Kimaiyo even on paper, is only one member of the National Security Council. Even though he has some additional theoretical authority, he is to implement rather than set the government’s security policy.

Like Samuel Kivuitu in the weeks before the election in 2007, he has respect and credibility from his past, but he is one man only, one vote on security policy, and not fully in control of what will happen even within the police service at this point. This should be a sobering thought in light of what we all saw play out in the last election.

Follow the link to read the whole piece from the Star.

FYI, this was submitted for publication before the back and forth in the campaigns about alleged involvement of civil servants in politics.

Please also read this from Pheroze Nowrojee in the Star, “Of Civil Servants and our Politics”:

The Inspector-General of Police, David Kimaiyo issued a public statement that politicians should not discuss land ownership in their campaigns. He did not suggest that there was any breach of the law by any politician. Yet he called for a gag. He was stepping into the political arena. He was abridging the Bill of Rights. Kimaiyo too was way out of line.