Irene Githinji and Anthony Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe
Police officers, especially in the junior ranks, will now be allowed to live outside police lines and given house allowances by the State.
While announcing the new concept, President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday said the policy on mandatory and free housing for junior officers in institutional houses has since been abolished.
Speaking during the national policing conference at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Uhuru said the new system is aimed at solving police and prisons officers housing challenges and to help integrate them better with the Kenyans they serve.
Housing has been a thorny issue in the sector with thousands of the officers living in uninhabitable conditions with others having to improvise their own shelters.
He said house allowances for all ranks of these officers will be provided, with those living in police lines expected to vacate within 90 days.
To effect the new policy, the President directed the National Treasury to initiate the termination of all leases with landlords of Police Estates within 90 days of the effective date of the new allowances.
He said officers in these estates will be required to enter into private tenancies with property owners. “All officers in shared houses, or those housed in structures in police lines, will vacate them within 90 days of the date of the allowances, and integrate themselves in their communities and neighbourhoods,” said Uhuru.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet assured that the housing allowances to be provided has been based on a scientific market research. He said it will be commensurate to market rates and ranks.
“The journey has been travelled with caution. Market studies have been conducted and its just not any figure that has been fixed to cater for housing allowances,” assured Boinnet.
A National Police Service (NPS) information pact has shown that the allowance will be categorised into three namely Nairobi, five counties cluster (Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Meru and Uasin Gishu while the other counties will be in one category.
The information pact indicates that the proposed new house allowance for police constable in Nairobi will be at least Sh18,124 per month. For the five counties cluster, it is expected to be in the range of about Sh13,124 per month.