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August 21, 2018

MPs seek special police unit to protect them in Parliament

A bodyguard draws his pistol and fired in the air as youths of governor Okoth Obado and aspirant Ochillo Ayacko clashed at a funeral.
A bodyguard draws his pistol and fired in the air as youths of governor Okoth Obado and aspirant Ochillo Ayacko clashed at a funeral.

Legislators want their own special police unit to protect them in Parliament.

A proposal to set up the Parliamentary Police Unit is contained in a Bill to be tabled in Parliament. The unit will be answerable to the Parliamentary Service Commission but supervised by the National Police Service.

The Parliamentary Service Bill, 2018, is sponsored by National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale.

“The Parliamentary Police Unit shall be responsible for the provision of security to the Speaker of each House of Parliament and members of Parliament generally,” the Bill reads.

“The officer in charge of the Parliamentary Police Unit shall make such periodic reports as may be specified in the standard operating procedures of the commission.”

The Inspector General of Police, according to the Bill, will be required to appoint an officer who is above the rank of assistant commissioner of police through a Gazette notice to be in charge of the unit.

“The standard operating procedures and staffing requirements of the Parliamentary Police Unit shall be publicised to the officers of the unit. The commission [PSC] may request the transfer or redeployment of officers of the unit,” the Bill reads.

Currently, security officers guarding Parliament are deployed by the NPS and they are delinked from the Parliamentary Service Commission.

The PSC has no powers over them. The Bill also outlines procedures to be followed by both Houses when appointing and firing clerks.

The clerks may be suspended or removed from office by the Parliamentary Service Commission for inability to perform their duties due to infirmity of body or mind.

“The clerk may be suspended or removed for gross misconduct or misbehaviour, incompetence and bankruptcy,” it reads.

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