Mr. Elema Halake, SS has officially taken helm of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority after he was sworn into office today.
The oath of office was administered by the Registrar of the Court of Appeal Moses Serem at the Supreme Court Buildings, Nairobi.
Chief Justice Martha Koome witnessed the ceremony in the presence of IPOA Board led by the Chairperson, Mrs. Anne Makori.
Mr. Halake is not new to the world of policing oversight, having served as a Director in charge of Investigations at IPOA.
He left the Authority in 2017 to take up leadership of the Anti-Counterfeit Agency, where he was the Executive Director for three years.
The new CEO assumes office with a full plate amid high expectations from Kenyans that he will steer civilian oversight over the work of the police at a time Kenya is preparing to transit to the next national and county Governments, after the General election slated for August.
Chief Justice Koome was cognizant of the enormous task ahead, and laid before him the vast expectations of the high office, after she appended her signature to affirm Mr Halake’s appointment.
She said: “A significant component of IPOA is the office of the CEO. Being responsible to the Board for the overall management and administration of the Authority, your role is a necessary cog to this wheel of police oversight and indeed, in the realisation of the Constitutional promise of justice for all Kenyans.”
And Mrs. Makori expressed confidence saying the Board had in accordance with statutory obligations settled on Mr Halake because he emerged the best among the candidates who were interviewed for the position.
Section 19 of IPOA Act dictates that the Authority’s Director shall be recruited and appointed through an open, transparent and competitive process.
Mrs. Makori noted: “Today marks the climax of one of the processes bestowed to IPOA Board by Kenyans, through the Constitution and other statutes. At this particular time, it is important that IPOA has a substantive CEO, especially when there is heightened political activity.” she said.
She added: “The Authority needs one who will embrace the multi-agency approach and lead in cooperation not only with the Judiciary but other agencies in ensuring there is justice for Kenyans. It is my belief he will not only sustain the bilateral relationship but strive to strengthen them with the understanding that a significant number of our interventions in guarding public interest in policing, especially those that must be settled through the Criminal Justice System, end up in courts of law.”
The Chief Justice pointed at Constitution and other legislations, saying the statutes should remain the guiding principle in spearheading the civilian policing oversight in Kenya.
She told the new CEO: “The oath which you have taken today should guide you in your day-to-day work. According to the oath, you must never depart from the law. In addition, the oath equally requires you to serve this country to the best of your abilities and bearing in mind the enormous responsibilities placed upon you.”
At the same, the CJ expressed optimism that Mr. Halake is up to the task, telling him that “the unique talent and experience that you possess that made you the most suitable candidate for this position will surely be put to good use. Working seamlessly and in synergy through coordinating and managing the day-to-day affairs of IPOA, I have no doubt that you will help in achieving Constitutional and statutory objectives.”