Our failing Defence force: The Kenyan Police

by Cynthia Kendeli  - May 8, 2023

The Nation was rocked by the terrorist attack that hit one of our most prestigious shopping malls. The Kenyan defence forces coupled with Kenyan police did their best to protect and serve the nation. The question that still lingers in our minds is what exactly happened? The force seemed ill prepared and unable to curb the situation in good time. Justice Philip Ransley was quoted to have said, “In reviewing the state of preparedness of the police to combat insecurity and other forms of emerging security challenges occasioned by national and international threats, the task force concluded that the police are ill prepared”.  President Uhuru Kenyattas’ own relative was caught up in the Westgate siege, are we safe?

The Kenyan police force has been ridiculed from time immemorial, about their incompetency and corruption. We respect the work they do but there are sections in the police system that are rotting away. Several police can be seen standing next to street lights directing traffic one would wonder why they are not at police posts, patrolling the streets to keep us safe. I would agree with Governor Kideros’ plans to move the police from traffic work and train personnel to work on the traffic.

Is the police training not vigorous enough? Are the individuals being recruited not up to the daunting task? Are individuals with no integrity being recruited into the force? The police force is overworked, underpaid hence the outcome, corruption and bribery to supplement their pay. Most members of the police force are illiterate and can clearly not deal with dire National issues. Better methods of training and recruitment need to be put in place to make sure our police force is stronger and better.

Are psychometric tests carried out to know who is better suited where, psychiatric evaluations, are the strength and perseverance tests valid? To get our forces to the level of Israeli defence forces the recruitment and training process needs to change.

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