By OKECH KENDO
Politicians inside or outside the Tenth Parliament should not get away with opportunistic positions that underrate the intelligence of right thinking Kenyans.
It cannot be true that Kenya no longer needs reform-minded leaders, as some fair-weather change activists would like you to believe. And while they claim the reform chapter is a done deal, these former reformers are actually playing their master’s tune.
This tune may not be consistent with the national interest.
The public interest is to have the new Constitution implemented in letter and spirit. This will take patriotic, resolute leadership, and a long time to realise.
This business is beyond pretenders to reform who may be torn between the status quo and the national interest.
It is precisely because of indecision and a Coalition Government working at cross-purposes that police reforms have stalled.
Last year, the police had wanted to do self-service reforms. The Police Force actually started internal vetting, which was stopped because of public outrage, especially from the civil society. The mechanisms for effective police reforms are far from ready, and self-served vetting is not what the Constitution orders.
Also, last year, high-ranking provincial administrators were sent to Brasilia, Brazil, to learn how devolution works in the Americas so they could learn how to ‘reform’ themselves. The report of the trip to South America at taxpayers’ cost was not made public.
Last month, the Independent Police Oversight Authority was constituted. But two of its critical pillars – the National Police Service Commission, the Inspector General of Police, and two deputies are still missing from the security equation.
The establishment of the National Police Service Commission stalled because the wrong names were submitted for approval. There was also, as usual, no consultation between the President and the Prime Minister on the nominations.
Which means the same police force, which was hugely blamed for skewed handling of post-election violence is still intact a few months to the General Election. Someone is buying time with change. This can only mean some powerful forces close to the Presidency have a stake in the status quo.
The security system is yet to reflect the face of Kenya as Agenda Four of the National Accord and Reconciliation Act prescribe for all public offices. This arrangement does not augur well for national reconciliation and cohesion.