President Uhuru Kenyatta has nominated Eliud Kinuthia for appointment as the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) chairman succeeding Johnston Kavuludi.
The six-year term of the Kavuludi commission ended in October 2018.
In his message to the National Assembly on Tuesday, President Kenyatta included the names of five nominated members to the NPSC, which is in charge of the welfare of police officers.
The five are Ms Lilian Kiamba, Mr Eusebius Laibuta, Mr Naphtaly Rono, Dr Alice Otwala and Mr John Ole Moyaki.
Former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende was among those who had applied to be the chairperson of the commission.
In January 2014, however, a police vetting panel found Mr Laibuta, then of the AP Senior Staff College, unsuitable for service.
The vetting brought to light the infighting, corruption and nepotism bedevilling the service, and exposed the hitherto unknown character of most of the senior officers.
Mr Laibuta provided one of the most memorable moments of the exercise when he pleaded with the panel not to retire officers from the police service, saying this would “kill” some of them.
“I personally appeal to you not to spell doom on us by taking away our jobs, because if you do so, you may find some of us on the obituary pages of newspapers,” he told the team.
Later, Mr Laibuta sued the NPSC, saying the vetting board that declared him unfit to serve was illegal and that procedures were not followed.
He sought orders barring his replacement as well as withdrawal of any privileges, rights and benefits that he had been receiving.
The nominees will be vetted by members of the Administration and National Security Committee of the National Assembly before they are formally appointed by the President.
The House Standing Orders provide that upon receipt of the notification of nomination for appointments, such nominations shall stand committed to the relevant departmental committee of the House for consideration.
The NPSC Act requires the National Assembly to either approve or reject the nominees within 21 days from the date the Speaker makes the announcement.
House Speaker Justin Muturi urged the security committee chaired by Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange to expedite the vetting process.
“The committee should expeditiously notify the nominees and the general public of the time and place for holding the approval hearings, commence the necessary hearings and submit a report to the House on or before March 6, 2019,” Mr Muturi said.
This is to enable the House to consider the matter within the statutory timelines. If the House fails to consider the nominees within the required time, their nomination will be deemed to have been approved for appointment.
Upon inauguration, the first assignment of the commission will be to recruit the next Inspector General of Police and conduct the national police recruitment.
IG Joseph Boinnet is expected to retire in March after serving for four years.
By Daily Nation