Police uniform won’t be imported, says Matiang’i

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

The government will not succumb to pressure from cartels to import new police uniform, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said yesterday.

An angry Matiang’i termed media reports that the government was unable to locally procure the materials for the uniform “outrageous”.

“Let me put this to rest. We have no problem providing police with uniform we have actually paid for the them,” Matiang’i told journalists in Nairobi.

The CS said sourcing the uniforms locally will promote the textile industry, manufacturers, cotton farmers and create jobs.

“The IG, PS Interior and myself have been under pressure from all manner of thieves that we should import police uniforms,” he said.

Matiang’i revealed that apart from local textile industries and manufacturers, more than 600 tailors at National Youth Service (NYS) will benefit from making police uniform.

“Take it from me, we will not import police uniforms. No amount of pressure or manipulation will change that position,” added Matiang’i.

He said that to oversee the exercise, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho who is the chair of Technical Committee on Police Reforms, visited various factories, including Rivatex in Eldoret, Nakuru and EPZ zones, to determine capacity.

“Why would the government put resources to revive Rivatex and then we proceed to import police uniform from Turkey or China?” he posed. The new uniform was supposed to be unveiled on Jamhuri Day.

Meanwhile, Matiang’i has said suspects in an incident where a chief was lynched in Marsabit had been arrested. He vowed that the killers of Dirib Gombo chief Biqa Godana will be brought to book. On Narok skirmishes, Matiang’i said the dusk to dawn curfew will continue until calm resumes.

“We are conducting investigations relating the skirmishes and some politicians are on our radar. We will take action regardless who are involved,”  he said.

He also said investigations had been launched into an incident where a police officer opened fire and killed two people during a protest at Kolongolo in Kwanza, Trans Nzoia county.

“We have nothing to hide as government and the security sector. All of our colleagues, including police officers, operate under established standing orders,” he said.

He said the orders prescribe the extent to which one can use live ammunition. “We agreed with the Inspector General and IPOA to investigate these incidences and where culpability is established the law will take its course,” he said.

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