Duale, Kindiki call for harmony between KDF, police officers

Monday, May 20th, 2024 07:00 | By
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki and DEfence CS Aden Duale at the ceremony of the National Police Service Level IV Hospital, Mbagathi on Friday. PHOTO/Print
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki and DEfence CS Aden Duale at the ceremony of the National Police Service Level IV Hospital, Mbagathi on Friday. PHOTO/Print

Following heightened clashes between the military and the police, Defence Forces Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale and his Interior Ministry counterpart Prof Kithure Kindiki have told warring uniformed officers to work in harmony.

The CSs, while apparently breaking their silence on recent incidents of violent confrontation between members of the two security formations, insisted on the need for the two parties to display comradeship.

“Those of us who have been given an opportunity to serve under the national security framework, we are comrades, we are partners, we are brothers and sisters. I call upon all of you that we have one mandate provided in the constitution to protect and defend the country and the citizens and to provide security and stability for social economic development to be attained,

“So we want to ask each and every member of the security organs; the Kenya Defence Forces, the National Security Intelligence, the Kenya Police Service and al the formations below them that at all times, let our focus be that of comradeship, uniting the country and defending the citizenry and their property and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our nation,” stated Duale.

There have been incidents of KDF officers assaulting policemen on duty, the most recent being in Mombasa. Prior to that, there have been similar other incidents in Nairobi and other areas which sparked public debate in social media platforms.

As a result of the clashes, the Senate Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations has waded into the matter and announced it is set to  investigate the rising incidents of confrontation between officers of the National Police Service (NPS) and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

Last week, Senator Samson Cherargei raised security concerns over three incidents that had been witnessed by Kenyans in the last few months.

In particular, the Senator highlighted the confrontation of the security personnel at the Likoni Ferry which was captured and shared widely among Kenyans.

Cherargei also cited the arrest of KDF officers in personnel and a Nairobi incident where KDF roughed up a police.

The Senator sought the indulgence of the committee, asking for a comprehensive report on the incidents.

Cherargei also indicated that the report ought to highlight the cause of the differences and disciplinary action that was taken against the officers.

“The committee should assess the level of risk the confrontation pause to the public and state disciplinary actions taken against the officers,” he stated.

Following the move by Cherargei, Deputy Speaker Kathuri Murungi referred the matter to the committee.

Last month alone, at least three incidents were reported where the soldiers and police clashed.

First, there was an incident at  Lodwar Police Station where officers  arrested KDF soldiers who had allegedly slapped and disarmed their colleague at a roadblock for delaying the removal of spikes on the road. However, KDF said their attention was drawn from videos, photos, and texts circulating on both mainstream and social media on the arrest of KDF soldiers on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

“Notably, it has so far been established that; KDF soldiers neither, “assaulted” police officers nor, “stormed” the station as alleged,” KDF said in a statement.

“The orchestration of the detainment is demeaning in context, intended to embarrass, humiliate, and create alarm. The incident, though localized and occurring at a tactical level, is of great concern to the entire KDF fraternity. It also degrades the complementary spirit in Multi-Agency environments and operations,” KDF said.

Then there was a confrontation between Kenya Navy soldiers and police officers manning the Likoni Ferry channel.

It was reported that the  scuffle ensued when the said KDF soldiers arrived at the Likoni channel and blocked it with their tactical military land cruiser, demanding to be given priority to board the ferry.

In a video that went viral, a KDF officer is seen slapping a Kenya Ferry Service guard.

He then walks towards a Kenya Police officer who tried to intervene, flanked by colleagues all carrying guns.

In the latest  incident this month, two police officers from Spring Valley Police Station in Westlands were  assaulted by KDF officers during a routine patrol near Waiyaki Way.

The incident is said to have  ensued when the police identified a suspicious character riding on a motorcycle in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

The officers trailed the suspect along Kitisuru Road to Waiyaki Way and managed to intercept him near Red Hill/Waiyaki Way roundabout.

While they were still interrogating the suspect, three military personnel manning Kabete Barracks approached the roundabout and demanded that the suspect be released.

The two cops introduced themselves and stated the reasons for stopping the suspect but their request was not heeded as the KDF officers assaulted one of the officers. He sustained injuries on the right leg below the knee.

Following the altercation, military officers came in large numbers as backup and overpowered the two officers, rescuing the suspect in the process.

And speaking during the handover of Sh 1.2 billion Wanini Keriri Magereza Hospital to the management of Ruiru Prisons Training College in Ruiru, Kiambu County on Saturday, the two CSs stated that while the roles of the military and police are different, their mandate – that of securing Kenya from internal and external threats is the same.

“When I see the collaborative arrangements in terms of programs and projects, I am a very happy minister. The government continues to invest in facilitating our security personnel. All our national security organs and agencies exist for one purpose and therefore our mandate is one, we are a one united formation. It is important for this collaboration to continue,” said CS Kindiki.

The modern level 4 hospital was constructed by KDF and is expected to enhance access to quality medical care services to uniformed officers.

The 150-bed capacity facility has two major theatres, two ICU beds, a maternity wing and dental care unit will also be serving Ruiru residents on referral basis.

The two CSs emphasized that the government was committed to ensure uniformed officers get the best quality medical services to enable them offer the best security services for social-economic development of the country.

“This project is a testament of the Kenya Kwanza government’s commitment in ensuring quality healthcare services,” said Duale.

On his part, Kindiki emphasized the need for maintenance of government facilities, noting that regrettably many such buildings and equipment were in a state of neglect and dilapidation.

Speaking at the occasion, Ruiru MP Simon King’ara said the facility will decongest Ruiru level 4 hospital that is always crowded owing to the populous nature of the constituency.

“We thank the government for opening the new health facility and we are happy that the two ministers have pledged to offer medical services to the neighbouring community,” said the MP.

He added that his office will continue partnering with the Prison Staff Training College and the Ruiru correctional facility to uplift standards of living for locals.

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