Raila accuses Uhuru of misusing his powers to reshuffle police officers

Resisting the Jubilee administration

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National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga addresses his supporters during a rally at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, October 25, 2017. /REUTERS

True to his words, the Opposition head Raila Odinga is not letting President Uhuru Kenyatta breath easy during his second and final term.

The National Super Alliance is now accusing President Uhuru Kenyatta of abusing his powers by reshuffling top police officers on Friday.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta at Kasarani Stadium during Jamhuri Day 2017. he named his partial Cabinet on Friday and reshuffled senior police officers. PHOTO: PSCU

Reacting to the changes announced by the President, the former Prime Minister said Mr Kenyatta was taking over the powers of the National Police Service Commission and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority in his appointment and deployment of the senior officers.

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“The open recruitment further paints a pattern of systematic undermining of supposedly independent constitutional offices in a bid to cement dictatorship and resurrect personal rule,” Mr Odinga said as quoted in the Nation.

In the changes reported by Zipo.co.ke, the head of state sacked Joel Kitili, Samuel Arachi and Ndegwa Muhoro, the heads of regular police, the Administration Police and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, respectively.

He named Edward Njoroge Mbugua, Noor Yarao Gabow and George Maingi Kinoti as their replacements in acting capacity.

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A close scrutiny of the law however reveals that the President can redeploy senior officers before the conclusion of their terms of service.

Section 17 of the National Police Service Act states: “The President may remove, retire or redeploy a Deputy Inspector-General at any time before the Deputy Inspector-General attains the age of retirement.”

The National Police Service Commission Act and its regulations also provide for the appointment of the senior officers in an acting capacity “provided that she or he meets the requirements for the position in question.”

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The officers appointed in an acting capacity can only serve for half a year as the regulations state: “Appointments in an acting capacity shall not be for more than six months.”

All these changes to the laws were made through the controversial Security Laws Amendment Act of 2014, the passage of which was marred by violence and a legal challenge by the opposition.