Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah has sued Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome for assuming the mandate of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) in promoting 514 police officers contrary to the Constitution.
In his petition filed at the High Court, Omtatah has further sued the IG for blocking the lawful promotion of police officers by the commission and is asking the court to determine who between the IG and NPSC has an exclusive human resource mandate.
The Busia legislator now wants the Constitution and Human Rights Division of the High Court to issue a conservatory order suspending the promotions affecting 514 police officers, which the IG effected in the National Police Service on June 5, 2023 without reference to the NPSC.
He also wants suspension of the memo the IG issued on June 9, 2023 prohibiting police officers from applying to fill the 514 vacancies in the service which the NPSC advertised in the press earlier on the same date.
In his petition, Omtatah cites Article 246 (3)(a) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 which categorically states that the human resource functions of recruitment or appointment, confirmation of appointment, promotion, transfer, disciplinary control and removal of police officers within the National Police Service are the exclusive mandate of the National Police Service Commission.
Omtatah further argues that the IG cannot act unilaterally because he is part of the nine-member commission that sits and decides on promotions, welfare and other personnel matters.
On 5th June 2023, IG Koome announced that he had unilaterally promoted 514 police officers within the National Police Service, with the promotions taking effect immediately.
But in a quick rejoinder, the National Police Service Commission denounced the IG’s action, observing that they are unlawful and un-procedural as the Inspector General has no such authority in Law.
The supremacy fight between the IG and National Police Service Commission has split the National Police Service down the middle, with fears that if prolonged the stand-off would affect innocent police officers who are due for promotion but are now caught in the middle of a turf war.
The Busia legislator now wants the High Court to determine whether the human resource functions of recruitment or appointment, confirmation of appointment, promotion, transfer, disciplinary control and removal of police officers within the National Police Service are the exclusive mandate of the National Police Service Commission.