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Kenya Police Service Details Measures it Put in place That Oversaw Peaceful General Elections.

The General Election held in Kenya on 9th August 2022 was peaceful and void of violence as a result of measures put in place by the National Police Service for the maintenance of law, order, and stability during the entire electioneering period. The preparations for this process started as early as September 2021 when the then Inspector General-NPS Mr Hilary Mutyambai established the National Police Service Election Security Secretariat headed by Mr Dominic Kisavi.

This secretariat had the mandate to coordinate all activities on election preparedness and election security. During the electioneering period, the National Police Service exhaustively played its role of promoting public safety and security as mandated by the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the National Police Service Act, 2011. A Series of meetings, workshops, and training were conducted across the country aimed at sensitizing the public on the importance of maintaining peace.

The National Police Service worked in collaboration with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), Judiciary Working Committee on Election Preparations, Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC), and National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) in the development of the Election Security Management Manual. This document was intended to be a reference handbook for Police Commanders to ensure that their roles and responsibilities during elections are carried out in a professional and consistent manner.

At the station level, commanders took the officers through drills and exercises pertaining to crowd management and their expected general conduct during the crucial period. During these sessions, officers from Internal Affairs Unit (IAU), and Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) were invited to share knowledge on the expected general conduct of officers during the critical period. The key training areas the officers undertook included; risk and threat analysis, public order management, handling of gender-based violence cases, and police accountability. These sessions were embraced by the officers as reflected by their professionalism throughout the electioneering period.

Through social media platforms, NPS kept the public updated on all activities undertaken in preparation for the elections. The Service walked the electioneering journey with the public from the day the polls began until the Supreme Court verdict through key peace messaging and art, an initiative by REINVENT and the National Police Service. The well-crafted pieces of art sparked conversations on social media resulting in a fruitful interaction between members of the public and the NPS.

The feedback that they received from the public was essential in our approach to executing our mandate during the entire period. Various sporting activities were held in parts of the country and served as platforms to reiterate the call for peace. The Amani Torch run, a partnership of the NCIC, Special Olympics Kenya and the NPS was pivotal in bringing together the sports fraternity, and local and religious leaders to spread the message of peace.

The torch dubbed the flame of hope was passed through all 47 counties carrying the slogan Uchaguzi Bila Noma. On the eve of the election, NPS officers with partner security agencies such as Kenya Prisons Service, National Youth Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, and Kenya Forest Service were deployed to various polling stations. Police officers were at hand to quell any disturbances and assist the public to exercise their democratic rights.

In addition, Formed Police Units (FPUs) were also deployed to complement the security teams. To strengthen the teams on the ground, five air support teams were also deployed in strategic locations to offer emergency tactical support. As one of the ways to enhance effectiveness in handling complaints and collecting information from the public during the period, a well-equipped National Election Security Command Centre was established.

In addition to the usual emergency toll-free lines, other contacts were introduced and dedicated to handling election-related complaints on a 24-hour basis. In addition to the maintenance of law and order at the polling stations and County tallying centres, the National Police Service provided all-around security at the National Tallying Center and at the Supreme Court. NPS continued to assure the public of its unwavering commitment to their security and safety including the smooth flow of traffic countrywide.

At the culmination of the poll exercise, the East African Community (EAC) Election Observation Mission led by former Tanzanian President H.E Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete which had been deployed to observe Kenya's General Election highly commended the Police Service for a job very well done. Apart from the EAC Mission, other international bodies including the Elections Observation Group (ELOG), the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Commonwealth, International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the African Union (AU), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) observer missions also paid a glowing tribute to the Service for its professionalism.

The icing on the cake was during the swearing-in ceremony of the 5th President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E Dr William Samoei Ruto, C.G.H. who lauded all the security teams for excellently performing their roles throughout the electioneering period. Further, the United Republic of Tanzania’s President, H.E Samia Suluhu appreciated the peace and tranquillity witnessed in the critical period, a true testimony that the peaceful environment in the country is admired and embraced beyond the borders of Kenya.

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IEBC Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission Kenya Kenya Police Service National Police Service


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