Inspector General of Police, Hillary Mutyambai on Monday issued a response to members of the public who inquired about his recent gag on police officers.
IG Mutyambai answers after uproar over gagging police on social media
They are the disciplined service - IG Mutyambai
During his weekly #EngageTheIG live chat on Twitter, IG Mutyambai clarified that police have other channels they are required to exploit while voicing their grievances.
Concerned citizens raised questions over an edict issued by the IG where he outlawed the practice of police officers going on social media to discuss the challenges their are facing as servicemen.
A user only identified as @JJ_254 posed: "What other measures do have in place for the police forces to air their grievances, now that you banned them from using social media for the same. And acknowledge the fact that your internal affairs office is a sham, would you?"
To which the IG simply stated: "The @NPSOfficial_KE is a disciplined service and there are internal laid out structures to handle complaints. Officers are encouraged to use them."
Gag on Police Officers on Social Media
The IG, in a statement issued last week, had noted that members of the service are prohibited from going on social media with their grievances as stipulated in their standing orders.
"The Inspector General has noted with a lot of concern that officers have developed a habit of using social media to advance their grievances without exhausting the laid down channels which include quality assurance/complaint and gender offices at service headquarters and the Internal Affairs Unit.
"Chapter 24 Section 55 of the service standing orders prohibits information transmission by members of the service on social media unless they can clearly be linked to the conduct of official business. It is also an offence against discipline under Section 6(w) Chapter 30 of the SSO CMM to disclose or convey any information on police matters without proper authority," he stated.
The IG also clarified that verbal discussions and press interviews are also prohibited.
"Sharing of information with the media whether verbally or otherwise must be done in accordance with the regulations. Serious disciplinary action will be taken against any police officer(s) found abusing the use of social media and sharing information with the press without proper authority," the statement read.
Female Officer who highlighted Frustration
IG Mutyambai's gag order came in the wake of a scandal involving a female police officer who claimed unbearable frustration in the service.
In a viral video circulated online, the officer expressed her wish to quit the service citing that she had been frustrated to a point that she could not continued discharging her duties.
She claimed that she had severally attempted to resign without success claiming that corruption at the Internal Affairs Unit was part of the problem.
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