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Morale booster for cops ahead of ‘poll mission’

All police and prison officers have been awarded a salary increment as the State got down to deploying a multi-agency security machinery to man the August 8 General Election, with particular focus on nine counties mapped out as hotspots.

In what was seen as a morale booster before the intense duty of securing election, the increment will see the officers earn new perks in four phases beginning end of this month.

According to a new salary scale, all ranks have been awarded an increment of 100 per cent spread over four years. This will see the salaries almost doubled by the end of the four phases.

For instance, a constable who currently earns a basic salary of Sh17,800 will earn Sh32,880 by 2020. Under the new structure, the Inspector General of Police will take home Sh854,241 a month up from about half the amount.

And as the good news hit the police stations, a multi-agency security team has mapped out nine counties as potential high volatile spots ahead of the polls. Kakamega, Meru, Homa Bay, Migori, Siaya, Busia, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu and Kisumu have been identified as counties with most prevailing political rivalry and higher numbers of police officers subsequently dispatched to the regions.

A well-placed source within the ranks of the police told the People Daily, the National Police Service is now deploying more GSU officers to the aforementioned areas to forestal any eventualities.

More than 500 officers will be deployed in the volatile counties and will be reinforced with other multi-agency security personnel to pre-empt and neutralise any political-related violence.

Yesterday, National Police Spokesman George Kinoti, who is on an official visit to the US said security agencies were well prepared to deal with issues that could arise in the hotly contested zones.

Speaking to the People Daily by telephone, Kinoti said a multi-agency security team has been monitoring the areas in the past six months while at the same time working on contingency plans to contain violence that may occur. “We have mapped out the danger zones and we are in the process of deploying adequate security there.

Each respective commander has already drawn up an operation plan for his or her area,” said Kinoti, declining to divulge more details. Officers from the National Police Service, National Intelligence Service and Kenya Forest Service will work in sync to maintain law and order.

Additional backup will come from the Kenya Wildlife Service, Prisons Department and the National Youth Service. Officers who have received training on crowd management, civil unrest and anti-terrorism tactics from the International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC-Kenya) will also be on the ground.

Their operation will be buttressed by an undisclosed number of choppers which will be on standby from August 1, especially for far-flung areas. Newly-acquired anti-riot police vehicles will also be deployed to disperse crowds in the event there is a confrontation between supporters of different political sides.

Already, NPS together with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission have issued recording devices to police officers to monitor those engaging in hate mongering and incitement.

Police will be particularly vigilant in Migori which witnessed most incidents of violence during the party primaries pitting factions allied to Governor Okoth Obado and his political nemesis former Rongo MP Ochilloh Ayacko.

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