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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Scrap police vetting, bring lifestyle audits

Commissioners during a past police vetting. /Monicah Mwangi
Commissioners during a past police vetting. /Monicah Mwangi

Police vetting will now happen in secret, but the NPSC has failed to justify in-camera scrutiny.

A few weeks ago, the commission turned away media from vetting. It said its Skypark office renovation was underway and the room was too small.

Yesterday, we got a different excuse: public vetting compromises national security and issues relating to August polls preparation may arise.

Government seems to have decided that vetting — with shocking revelations of graft and impunity — are too embarrassing for public consumption. The supposedly independent commission has obliged.

Admittedly, vetting has not achieved much. NPSC chairman Johnston Kavuludi himself this week said some vetted officers are back to their old ways, now with a license to extort.

What's needed are surprise, impromptu and continuous lifestyle audits, not boardroom sessions for which officers are given time to rehearse their answers. These are mere cosmetics.

But underlying all this must be follow-through on much-needed police reforms.

Hiding the vetting behind closed doors shows this will is lacking.

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