Why Parliament could soon have its own police service

The Bill sponsored by Majority Leader Aden Duale seeks to create a special police unit that will ...

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Members of Parliament are on course to changing the law to create a special police unit that will exclusively serves them, adding to a long list of privileges that includes hefty salaries and perks.

Notwithstanding that the provision is in direct contravention of the Constitution which clearly states the independence of police service – especially in matters of hiring, deployment of officers and in operational matters, the Bill sponsored by Majority Leader Aden Duale seeks to ensure MPs are well protected to keep ‘building’ the nation.

“There is established a Parliamentary Police Unit, which shall be a specialised police service under the supervision of the National Police Service and the command of the Inspector-General of the National Police,” reads part of the bill.

Kenya is already battling with a huge wage bill and financial institutions like IMF have already raised the red flag on the same. The countries current wage bill stands at 53 percent of the national budget and takes 11 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

The new proposal therefore only goes to irks Kenyans even more who apart from footing the bill for the ballooning wage bill also have to endure high levels of insecurity.

If passed, the proposed law will create a special force, the Parliamentary Police Unit (PPU), to guard MPs, Speaker, staff, visitors and property within the precincts of the National Assembly.

Unlike the regular police, who are hired by the National Police Service Commission and serve under the Inspector-General, PPU will be under the control of Parliament.

“The standard operating procedures and staffing requirements of the Parliamentary Police Unit shall take into account the views of Parliamentary Service Commission, which may also request the transfer or redeployment of the officers of the Unit.”

Among the changes Duale’s bill hopes to do is “professionalise” the Parliamentary Service Commission by staffing it with non-partisan people “of exemplary administrative and technical competence.”

If passed, the Inspector-General will have to gazette the appointment of an officer not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of the Police to be in charge of the Parliamentary Police Unit.

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