There are numerous cases where either individuals or organisations have taken Government to court, especially on the premise that their rights have been violated.
Like in any other litigation, efforts by aggrieved parties seek restitution on the grounds that the actions of the Government, in the first place, were economically harmful to them.
Taking on a Government through this path may be laborious to an individual but those who chose this route are driven by conviction that there is natural justice on which laws are established, regardless of the political principals of the moment.
It is on these tenets that incoming administrations as well as those in waiting, sell their agendas by identifying areas affecting the populace, hitherto anchored in legal statutes, which they would desire to be strengthened or prioritised.
Kenya ushered in a fresh administration earlier in this month and on its part, Independent Policing Oversight Authority has identified areas yearning for accelerated impetus, bearing in mind that the new administration shares on the foresight.
As stated on the onset, the sitting Government noted in its plan, the need to “equip the Attorney General’s office with resources and ability to safeguard the public interest in Court, legislation, negotiating international agreements and signing of contracts. By doing so, the Government will avoid needless litigation.”
What has IPOA to do with it? It has resolved to enhance the capacity of its investigators so that they may deliver water-tight investigation files and in turn, curb incidences of Government incurring expenses as a result of litigation related to malicious prosecution.
Further to take lead in professionalizing the police through sensitization forums to reduce the cases of police misconduct that expose the government to litigation
This is just one of them and unless there is a change of Constitution or other laws of the land, mandates vested in Independent institutions, especially that are fashioned to keep the executive arm of Government in check, will remain the same.
These institutions have an obligation to offer their advice to the new National order, especially in their areas of jurisdiction that in the past faced challenges or where new assets need to be infused.
So, what did we pick from the sitting Government’s ideas which aligns to our legal mandate and how may we help?
Granting financial independence to Inspector General of the Police and end reliance Office of the President;
In past reports, IPOA recommended that police commanders and those in charge of stations be awarded the Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) while the IG be an accounting officer. While station commanders were made AIE holders, the IG’s financial muscle continued to be strained.
Among other interventions, IPOA has endeavoured to monitor the implementation of the process to ensure that budgetary priority areas recommended by the Authority are taken into consideration
Promoting accountability and openness in the management of public affairs, institutionalizing open governance in all state organs and agencies and publishing an annual State of Openness Report
Enhance full compliance in promoting accountability and openness in the management of public affairs
Ending all forms of extra-judicial executions by security services and amend the National Coroners Service Act of 2017 to establish the Coroner-General’s office
IPOA shall participate in formulation of Regulations under the National Coroners Service Act and in the intended amendment, ensure that IPOA gets a seat in the governing Council of the Coroner General and its role made clear
Establishing a Special Tribunal for Gross Human Rights Violations and Enforced Disappearance (including in Northern Kenya)
IPOA to initiate a special inquiry to investigate and receive representations/evidence on enforced disappearances and in the event the tribunal on Gross Human Rights Violations and Enforced Disappearance (including in Northern Kenya) our inquiry, we shall lobby for its membership.
The Authority has further purposed to develop a framework on classification of Gross Human Rights Violations and Enforced Disappearance.
Ending all unauthorised evictions and property demolitions including those that do not follow due process, provide adequate notice or compensation where necessary
Monitor and investigate instances where members of the NPS are involved and initiate necessary steps that will hold people accountable on any unauthorised evictions and property demolitions, including those that do not follow due process.
Implementing the Victims of Crime Act
IPOA shall Issue recommendations for compensation of victims and provide psychosocial support to the victims of crime.
Welfare matters of police officers
Harvest previous recommendations made on the police welfare with aim of providing an advisory baseline report and follow up on the level of implementation.
The Women Agenda – commits to increase the number of personnel at gender desks at Police Stations
IPOA will harvest from its complaints and investigation reports, cases that may provide a study on patterns and trends of Gender Based violence in Kenya.
This will inform recommendations on shaping police training curriculum on gender issues including FGM law, gender composition of police officers and establishment of gender desks within National Police Service, among others.