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Insider eyeing to mend fabric with police job

Eliud Ndung’u Kinuthia
Eliud Ndung’u Kinuthia addresses the media on June 20, 2017. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Eliud Ndung’u Kinuthia is no stranger in the security sector, having spent a decade steering institutional reform, particularly at the National Police Service.

And so should Parliament endorse his nomination by President Uhuru Kenyatta to succeed Johnston Kavuludi as the next chairperson of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC), the 45-year-old would be a man “feeling at home” having actively participated in drawing up the present policy framework and strategy on the reorganisation of the National Police Service.

His nomination was perhaps boosted by positive endorsements by Internal Security secretary Amos Gathecha, Economic Planning secretary Joseph Mukui and Inspector- General of Police Joseph Boinnet who he had named as his referees.

If Parliament clears him, Mr Kinuthia will take over the mantle in an environment where the police service is undergoing reforms, some like ordering all officers to seek housing outside police lines already adjudged to be ill-thought and others like salary reviews billed as timely.

A born-again Christian, Mr Kinuthia holds a degree in Education majoring in Statistics from the University of Nairobi (1999) a Master of Arts degree in Development Studies and Gender from the same institution (2006) and an MBA from Strathmore University (2015.)

Before his presidential nomination, Mr Kinuthia was the adviser of the NPSC transformation, credited so far with the development of the policy framework and strategy on reorganisation, provision of decent and affordable housing for police officers and their integration with communities and neighbourhoods.

But what Mr Kinuthia finds tough in his new calling is addressing the perennial tag of a corrupt service, with traces of serious affront on human rights and general lackadaisical approach to duty.

“You need not to get worried about what ought to be done. I have 10 years of work experience in the security sector. Not many know that I have been at the centre of police reforms as a consultant for the NPSC, which I now set to chair,” he told the Business Daily.

Saying his work is well spelt out in the Constitution, Mr Kinuthia claims he will only need “to be the midwife selflessly committed to deliver the desired results”.

“I can 100 percent tell you that there is nothing seriously wrong with the National Police Service. It is home to some very diligent and patriotic officers. Sometimes one or two err. That is normal. My work will be to build on the police service strengths while seeking ways of fixing the dents,” he added.

Deep inside his soul, he says, is a serious concern on cases of police officers committing suicide as others resort to punishing their bosses by shooting them dead in work stations.

“This is a psychological issue and I will have to get a way of dealing with it. We must appreciate the fact that police officers are also human beings prone to vagaries of work pressures.

“We will be there to make our officers feel free to share their worries, we must make them feel they work for a caring government and be there to give them practical solutions to their challenges,” he says.

Mr Kinuthia says he is best suited since his leadership experience represents a wealth of practical understanding of the security sector with serious bonds with the public sector.

He has previously had ambitions for a political office after he unsuccessfully took an aim at the Lamu gubernatorial seat in the last General Election. His running mate for the position, James Matole Tuva, was disqualified for lack of authentic academic papers and Mr Kinuthia eventually withdrew from the race.

Even after he picked another qualified running mate to push through his ambition, he was to later throw in the towel with 48 days to the August 8 General Election and revealed in his briefing that President Uhuru Kenyatta had convinced him to do so.

“I am announcing that I will not be pursuing my ambitions to be Lamu governor on a PNU ticket.

“The President has asked me to step down and instead support Fahim Twaha of Jubilee in return for a nice job if his party wins the elections.

“The President called me and we talked for about 20 minutes. After much consultation with my people I accepted the offer and have stepped down,” Mr Kinuthia had disclosed.

Mr Twaha went ahead and won the seat after beating the incumbent Issa Timamy of Amani National Congress, Abdalla Fadhil of Orange Democratic Party (ODM) and Swaleh Imu of Wiper Party.

Mr Kinuthia says he is not concerned that he had been promised a job for stepping down, arguing that ‘‘what I have now been given has been out of merit.’’

“This is not a political job…political jobs pertain just getting mentioned and sent to an office…But this is a job that I had to sweat for acceptance and where I floored some worthy names like former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende. I was waiting for the political job that I had been promised, but this competitive one came earlier,” he told the Business Daily.

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