Police officers are set to undergo special training to enhance their preparedness in safeguarding the electorate during the 2022 General Elections.
During a webinar held on October 5, 2021, the National Police Service (NPS) head of the Elections Preparedness Secretariat, Dominic Kisavi, stated that the service would roll out the national program in November.
In the training, police officers will be educated on non-lethal means of responding to violent incidents.
Kisavi noted that the training was necessitated by the cases of police brutality that have been witnessed during past elections.
“Police have been accused of all manner of crimes during elections. Apart from intimidation, police have been accused of causing the death of people during elections. We want to make sure that all our officers are well trained,” Kisavi stated.
He added that the secretariat developed the training after they had reviewed the conduct of officers in past elections.
“We are well prepared. We began preparing in 2020. The IG appointed a secretariat and I happened to be the one leading. We analysed what we did wrong in the past elections. We noticed the disconnect on how we do things,” Kisavi asserted.
In addition, Kisavi expressed that the police were monitoring the use of social media among Kenyans.
“As we move towards elections, there is a lot of propaganda, fake news, and hate speech circulating all over social media. Technology is a key element of insecurity during elections. If, for example, IEBC does not get it right this time due to technological challenges and cyber security issues, we might have a lot of challenges,” Kisavi noted.
In his address, the police boss also came to the defense of officers, adding that politicians should also be held accountable for the violence.
“Serving and providing security in a country like Kenya, where campaigns start immediately after the announcement of the general election results, you can understand how challenging it is, it brings about fatigue,” Kisavi affirmed.
The police boss was speaking during a webinar organised by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Kenya.