National Police Service to ban cross-rank marriages, relationships among cops

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The National Police Service (NPS) is set to ban cross-rank marriages among its officers to curb rise in sexual harassment and indiscipline.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said the directive will be effected by July this year.

“We have agreed that we will draw the line at this point. Senior police officers who opt to have affairs and relationships with the junior police officers and they want to marry them, one of them has to leave the service. We cannot continue this way,” he said.

He was speaking on Friday during the official opening ceremony of direct entry cadet inspectors course at the National Police College Kiganjo Campus in Nyeri.

In July last year, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) said they were investigating complaints by some female police officers that they are sexually harassed by their seniors.

IPOA said the officers had sent confidential details of their alleged ordeals, claiming that some of their bosses demand sexual favours.

“They said if they refuse, they face intimidation and threats of disciplinary action, transfer to remote areas, demotion and even sacking,” the authority said.

During a live Citizen TV interview on the Monday Report program, some officers urged Police IG Hillary Mutyambai to address their frustrations.

In messages read by the show’s host, some officers complained of harassment by superiors and being bypassed for promotion, even after returning from studies and acquiring higher qualifications.

A 2013 study conducted by IPOA revealed that sexual harassment was rampant in the police force.

At the time, the authority said it had received 759 complaints against individual police officers

“It is definitely a major problem and we are not convinced that there is serious action that is being taken within the management structure to reign in on it. It is a problem that has to be dealt with and that is why we have instituted our own committee to deal with that issue because it is one that requires a lot of attention,” the then IPOA Chairperson Macharia Njeru said as quoted by Capital FM.

Last week, Gender CS Margaret Kobia said cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Kenya increased by 92percent between January and June 2020.

5009 GBV cases in Kenya were recorded through the national toll-free helpline 1195 between January and December 2020, the CS said.

“In response, the government moved with resolve to mitigate and de-escalate the vice by deploying a multi-pronged approach. In September 2020, the Cabinet approved an inter-agency strategy that includes, stakeholders to deal with the matter; six ministries (Public Service and Gender, Interior, Education, ICT, Health and Labour), County Governments, development partners, and other non-state actors,” she said.

More to follow

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Source: citizentv.co.ke