- To depart from a reactive approach to fighting crime
- MPs seek answers on remuneration of police, administration officers
Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo on Monday laid bare his plans for securing Kenyans should MPs approve his nomination to the position.
The PS nominee says he would employ a different approach to fighting crime, relying heavily on intelligence gathering "other than stereotypes".
While assuring he’d serve with impartiality, Omollo, who is President William Ruto’s new power man taking over from Karanja Kibicho, said there was a need for a proper understanding of crime.
Citing cattle rustling as among insecurity incidents that need a new approach, the PS said he would consider dealing with underlying issues rather than responding to incidents.
“We must look at new ways of combating rustling, through intelligence, looking at other case studies as well as see whether to increase punishment for culprits.”
This was even as some members of the Administration and Internal Affairs Committee who were vetting him for the job asked whether he would misuse the authority of the office given its immense powers.
“What Kenyans are going to see is someone who abides by the law, is impartial, and will push or coordinate service delivery to wananchi. I would want to be judged as someone who made a difference,” the PS nominee said.
Omollo, who also disclosed he is worth Sh450 million from landed properties and stocks, told the committee chaired by Narok West MP Gabriel Tongoyo that he would dedicate his time to serving Kenyans without disadvantaging any.
“This job goes beyond ensuring Kenyans are safe but ensuring they go about their businesses without fear. I will be consultative, have an open door policy and work by the rules,” he said.
On his plans, if approved, the PS nominee said he was keen on digitising the OB, equipping the officers with not only technologically advanced equipment but also skills for using the same, as well as checking on the welfare of the police.
“On OBs, I’d work to ensure the plan progresses from the pilot phase and move away from physical OBs. Things are changing fast hence we need to equip officers with modern technological know-how,” he added.
Omollo further assured MPs that he’d look into issues of remuneration and career progression of police and officers attached to the national government administration (NGAO).
“I will look into these welfare issues, be it on accommodation or their tools of trade,” the PS nominee said, adding that he would seek a review of the department’s service charters.
This was even as MPs implored him to explain his plans for revitalising the government printing press, ending NACADA cash woes, handling insecurity in bandit-prone areas, and operationalising administrative units.
On the latter, Omollo said the government needs Sh7.5 billion to operationalise the administrative units that were created by the past administrations.
Lawmakers also sought the nominee’s views on leasing police and NGAO officers’ vehicles, and why despite the billions spent on leases, administration officers were still asking for lifts for lack of cars.
Some MPs claimed cases of assistant county commissioners (formerly DCs) boarding matatus to work or asking for lifts from chiefs – whose bikes have no budgetary provision for maintenance.
“There must be a reason for the leasing. It is time to have an assessment of whether it has worked or not. If not, I will ensure the stakeholders are engaged to ensure probity.”
For the government press, Omollo said there was a need to modernise the equipment, including through public-private partnerships.
“We are running an old relic. There is a need to modernise it. I will employ innovative ways for making a neat press or go PPP owing to its critical function,” the PS nominee said.
On Nacada, the PS nominee said there was the need for consultation between the county and national government on the mandate and a relook at laws that set up Nacada.
“I think this House can make adequate budgetary provisions to live up to the mandate. The question should be how to address the bottleneck so that the original intention is not lost.”
MPs also asked the PS nominee about his plans for village elders, a challenge he threw back to the members saying they were the ones with powers to appropriate and allocate budgets.
Omollo, on the rising cases of insecurity incidents, said the high cost of living is no excuse for criminals to terrorise people in their localities.
“These are issues that need to be addressed wholesomely. It is no excuse for people to become criminals. I will work with relevant law enforcers to address the issues of crime,” he said.