Interior Principal Secretary Dr Karanja Kibicho has debunked fears of election-related violence and discouraged stocking up of goods and panic relocations ahead of next week’s polls.
Speaking in Gukena FM and Radio Jambo stations, Dr Kibicho said there was no cause for fear that chaos will erupt before, during and after the elections as adequate security has been deployed across the country with special attention to traditional and emerging hotspots.
“There is absolutely no reason for panic as most of the country is green in colour in our potential hotspots map which means there is no cause for alarm. Based on past experiences and other factors, we have been mapping out areas vulnerable to disturbances and have deployed according to the heat maps to ensure every single Kenyan is safe during this period,” the PS said.
The PS urged Kenyans to ignore scaremongering that is encouraging panic-buying of essential commodities as the government had put in place strategies to ensure peace and freedom of movement of people and goods throughout the electioneering period.
He attributed the optimism that peace and order will prevail to the fact that there have been early election security preparedness that began over three years ago and reforms in the security sector in the last nine years.
The reforms include the raising of salaries and allowances for police, chiefs and other members of the National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) and better kitting and allocation of more modern relevant equipment.
The PS criticised a section of leaders who he said were trying to gain political mileage by making incorrect claims about police salaries and criticising their new-look uniform.
“You have heard these honey-tongued politicians telling barefaced lies that we have done nothing to improve the wellbeing of our police officers. They know that they are insincere and are only trying to pander to the interests of the voters in a desperate attempt to gain support,” he said.
According to the PS, Police Constables now earn a gross salary of Kshs 45,500 up from Kshs. 25,800 in 2012 while those in the rank of “Inspector” are paid around Ksh 83,000 up from Ksh 50,000 ten years ago.
A brand-new specialised hospital for the officers has also been constructed in Mbagathi, Nairobi.
“Kenya has witnessed great many firsts in the last ten years. The level of support towards capacity-building and addressing the welfare of our officers has been profound. We have even built state-of-the-art hospitals for them and our plan to provide them with decent accommodation and housing allowances is a work in progress.”
Expenditure in equipment and weaponry has also risen under President Kenyatta’s regime, a move the PS said has since increased the level of confidence among the officers and capacitated them to perform their duties better.
He revealed that the entry-level salary for assistant chiefs had been raised and supplemented by other field service allowances to facilitate their operations. Further, their offices have been given the Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) amounting to Ksh 60,000 per year.
PS Kibicho reiterated that he will leave office a happy man having set a solid foundation for a greater impact in the security sector and subsequent reforms by his successor.