Vigilance House clips commanders transfer powers

Kinyuru Munuhe @kinyurumunuhe

The Kenya Police Service has clipped the powers of Regional Commanders, barring them from  transferring juniors officers without approval from Vigilance House.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Edward Mbugua issued the directive, saying some police bosses have been abusing their power.

Regional Commanders, who are in charge of former provinces, are allowed to redeploy junior officers within their jurisdiction.

But in a communication sent out to all regional commanders, formation commanders and county police commanders, Mbugua (pictured) directed that no officer will be moved from one duty station to another without approval from DIG’s office.

“It has been noted with concern that most commanders are misusing powers to transfer officers within their regions. Some officers are effecting transfers without justifiable reasons. From the date of this signal, I direct that no commander will deploy officers from one station to another without express authority of the DIG,” the circular dated August 6 reads in part.

The new rule seeks to end a bribery syndicate that has seen officers fighting for transfers to specific “favourable” stations as well as claims of nepotism.  Commanders will now be required to stipulate reasons for moving officers.  “There have been claims of nepotism, favouritism, and malice in some of the transfers,” said Mbugua.

Hundreds of officers have found themselves at crossroads and others stranded after getting parallel transfers from police headquarters as well as from their immediate bosses.

“A region which is equivalent to a former province covers a very wide area. Imagine getting a transfer from headquarters moving you to Nyeri county because you have overstayed to Marsabit without them knowing you were deployed to Murang’a long ago. Some of the deployments happen for no apparent reasons,” said a senior officer who sought anonymity.

Following Mbugua’s communique, any transfer done without authority from headquarters “is null and void”.

Police officers who spoke to People Daily welcomed the new directive, saying it will entrench professionalism and safeguard them from malice by their seniors.  The move comes barely two weeks after 500 officers in the ranks of chief inspectors and inspectors were transferred as radical changes in the National Police Service start to take shape.

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