Irene Githinji @gitshee
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday unveiled new uniform for police officers as part of the major reforms in the service.
The new uniform, Persian-blue shirt/blouse, trousers and a beret, will be introduced gradually in a period of three years.
The President said the shift from the current navy blue and jungle green is aimed at making the police officers “more visible”. He made the remarks as he announced the merger of the regular police and the Administration Police into a single unit known as General Duty Police.
Speaking at the Kenya School of Government, the Head of State directed Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to start implementation of the changes and also called on the National Treasury to provide funds for the same.
And after the changes were announced, police officers, clad in the new uniform marched before the President, much to the delight of those present, just for Kenyans to get a glimpse of what it will look.
“We will introduce better visibility of police officers by introducing a new uniform,” said Uhuru. Boinnet said the service would gradually implement the new look, which he revealed will be fully effected in three years.
The new uniform’s design and colour, however, did not impressed Kenyans, who trooped to social media to express their opinion. On Twitter, police reforms was among the top five trending topics, with most Kenyans describing the new uniform as “horrible and ugly”.
“The uniform for our newly unified Kenya Police is ugly, dull, old-fashioned and uninspiring … The Beret is worse…They look like Salvation Army Band … Police uniform must be one that shows fitness and inspire fear,” lawyer Donald Kipkorir tweeted.
Another user, Leon Lidigu, said: “Police reforms should not be about giving them tasteless uniforms…(sic)”. Some Kenyans were quick to notice the conspicuously big pockets on the new uniform.“The police reforms also increased the pocket sizes for police uniform,” Ahmed Mohamed tweeted.
There were also those who identified the uniform’s similarities with that of Chinese police.“Ladies and gentlemen, introducing China police-Kenya branch. Next week all Kenya police officers will learn Chinese,” tweeted Errycar10.