By Mourice Seretta
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has welcomed the proposals in the recently released Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report that it says will transform the authority.
IPOA Chairperson Anne Makori offers that if the proposed amendments are adopted, it would be easier to extend the Commission’s mandate to oversee other agencies, and not only the National Police Service.
“If the proposed amendments are adopted, Article 246A (2) (c) is of interest. It says that the Commission (IPOC) shall perform any other function prescribed by national legislation. That means that by a simple amendment of the Act of parliament, oversight can be extended to other agencies like the Kenya Prisons Service, Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service,” she said.
Makori also said that the recommendation gives fresh impetus to IPOA.
“NPS will achieve the highest professional standards possible, and the public will have a higher degree of confidence in their law enforcement services,” she said.
She further added that being a Constitutional Commission, the civilian oversight mechanism over the work of the police will move a notch higher.
BBI seeks to amend the Constitution to elevate IPOA to an independent commission that will hold police officers accountable to the public in the performance of their functions.
The commission is expected to provide an effective mechanism of oversight on the conduct of the members of the police service in discharging their work and their relation to the citizens.
BBI also proposes the Kenya Police and Administration Police Service merge into the National Police Service under the command of the IG.
The BBI report was unveiled by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM boss Raila Odinga at Kisii State Lodge on Wednesday.