In a significant move, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has mandated the swift dismantling of all roadblocks across the country, with a firm deadline set for November 1.
This decision comes in alignment with a prior directive laid out by President William Ruto, who unequivocally pointed out that these checkpoints had regrettably transformed into hotbeds of corruption.
On Thursday, August 24, Kindiki emphasized that the directive echoes the concerns articulated by President Ruto. The President’s worry chiefly revolves around the distressing reality that these roadblocks have, in fact, morphed into channels for unlawful financial gains.
Motorists have been subjected to unjust monetary exactions, totaling millions of shillings, as they grapple with the compulsion to offer bribes to navigate through these checkpoints.
Kindiki said, “The stationary roadblocks have gradually lost their efficacy, as individuals have ingeniously devised means to bypass them while evading encounters with law enforcement officers.”
Ministry’s Transition to Mobile Patrols and Surveillance Tech Address Security Challenges, Roadblocks to Persist
Additionally, the Cabinet Secretary disclosed that his ministry was embarking on a dynamic shift towards mobile patrols and the deployment of advanced surveillance technologies. These measures aim to effectively combat the multifaceted security concerns facing the country.
In a bid to strike a balance between security enforcement and citizen engagement, the Cabinet Secretary issued a clear directive to officers stationed along major highways. While maintaining their steadfast commitment to enforcing regulations, these officers were urged to adopt a demeanor of utmost courtesy towards motorists.
Kindiki acknowledged the grievances expressed by motorists, which ranged from the recurring issue of undue police pressure to the exploitation of roadblocks by certain law enforcement personnel for personal gain.
He acknowledged, “We have received reports from elected leaders that there are specific roadblocks where police officers treat motorists with considerable respect.”
Addressing the multifaceted nature of the challenge, the Cabinet Secretary outlined various underlying reasons for the practice of demanding bribes at roadblocks. While corruption serves as a catalyst for some officers, others resort to this behavior out of financial need or a perceived entitlement stemming from the perceived risks they undertake in their line of duty.
However, Kindiki sternly cautioned that regardless of the rationale, the act of police soliciting bribes is not only illegal but also detrimental.
Reassuring the public of the government’s commitment to ensuring accountability, Kindiki highlighted the bolstered oversight mechanisms implemented within the police force. These measures intend to introduce a robust system of checks and balances that serve as safeguards against the proliferation of corrupt practices.