Kenya to deploy 180,000 officers to man August 8 elections


180,000 police officers will be marshalled from various security agencies in the country to man the August 8 elections in Kenya.

The various units from where the officers will be drawn from include AP, GSU, regular police, officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

Other units include special forces from the National Youth services, Kenya Wildlife, Kenya Prisons and the Kenya Forestry.

According to Interior PS Karanja Kibicho, they will be deployed based on need and as requested by IEBC and the special forces will be deployed to relatively calm areas.

He said that the law allows the Inspector General of Police to designate the NYS, KWS, KFS and Kenya Prisons as special forces for a specific purpose.

IG Joseph Boinnet said NYS personnel will be deployed for crowd control only.

“Their [NYS] training involves some elements of law enforcement…we brought them to support us in boosting our numbers…the bulk of work will be left to police.”

They are not police officers and cannot enforce the law, but IG can gazette and declare them as special officers when a need arises where their services are needed.

“Not the entire country requires personnel from the NPS. There are places that are relatively calm historically, therefore the IG will deploy these special officers appropriately because we also understand their training matches requirements of enforcement,” he said.

“As a government, the best we can do is assure people that that there will be security…we are doing that.”

He added that people have been travelling to their rural homes for fear of election violence due to utterances by politicians.

He asked them to remain in the areas where they are registered to vote and vowed that the government will protect them.

“We must appreciate the decision to stay or not to stay is personal. As a government, we cannot deprive Kenyans of their right and say ‘stay where you are and vote’,” he said

“We shall continue assuring them and showing we ready to protect them. It is an appeal to Kenyans…believe us because we are four days [to the election] and we have seen that security agencies have performed so well such that these are the most peaceful four days to elections.”