New law to handcuff top cops for ten years

Police officers who get specialized training at taxpayers’ expense will be compelled to serve in the public sector for at least ten years following Parliament’s approval of a private member’s proposal.

Those to be affected include officers in ballistics, forensics, document examinations, fraud detection, money laundering, cyber crime and transnational crime.

MPs endorsed a motion by Sirisia MP John Waluke which will see regular police officers, administration police and prisons officers refund money used in their training if they opt out of service before the mandatory ten years.

The MPs, however, demanded proper remuneration, accommodation and welfare for security officers even as they moved to implement the motion.

Maj (Rtd) Waluke revealed that he is drafting a Bill on the matter.

“I will come up with a Bill to ensure the welfare of officers is taken care of by the government. This motion is the beginning of everything,” the former Army major told MPs while replying to the motion.

He said the Kenya Police Service spends considerable resources on training.

“Many police detectives are hired by both government and private institutions as soon as they acquire necessary expertise and experience,” Waluke said. “We need to ensure that these officers, trained at public expense serve the public for some time before crossing over to greener pastures.”

Maj (Rtd) Waluke said the hiring of highly trained security officers by the private sector had resulted in delayed and botched investigations.

The Sirisia MP said the police service had lost officers in specialized areas such as ballistics, fraud detection and money laundering to private employers who are able to offer superior terms of service.

Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo successfully amended the motion to require the government to consider proper remuneration, accommodation and welfare of police officers.

“This motion is timely and is about the terms of service for our officers. We have been unable to retain highly trained officers in the service owing to poor remuneration,” Dido Rasso, the MP for Saku said.

He said the government must improve the salaries of police officers if it expects to retain them in service.

Rongo MP Dalmas Otieno was the only MP who opposed the motion saying security services are shared between public and private sector.