Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Mr George Natembeya has stated that the Inspector General of Police was not involved in the controversial opening of Lanet Police Station in Nakuru by Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday, December 18.
According to the administrator, organizers of the event led by Bahati Member of Parliament Kimani Ngunjiri did not follow the correct procedure for opening the station and added that proper handing over will be done once investigations were completed.
Mr Natembeya explained that the establishment and gazettement of a police station or post, including equipping and staffing, was a preserve of the Inspector General of Police.
“Decisions of whichever nature must originate from him and not otherwise. That’s the law, and that’s the Service Standing Orders. Was the alleged opening sanctioned and/or coordinated with the IG or his Office? Was due internal process followed? Absolutely not,” he pointed out
Addressing a press conference in his office after chairing a regional security committee meeting Mr Natembeya distanced the government from claims of defacing a plaque erected by the Deputy President bearing his name at the entrance of the station.
Also removed was signage at the gate which was branded in National Police Service colours.
He described the procedure for opening the station as ‘shambolic’, insisting public institutions should not be aligned to political movements.
“Politics took a prominent role than the objective of the station. We cannot politicise security. Politicians should stop calling themselves patrons of projects funded by the taxpayers. Once done, public projects should be handed over to the community in a proper procedure without political partisanship,”
Mr Natembeya said it was dishonest for Mr Ngunjiri to claim that he was behind construction of the politician and pointed that members of parliament did not have control of projects funded by National Government –Constituency Development Funds (NG-CDF)
“Courts have proclaimed themselves clear on NG-CDF. Government funds do not have patronage. Public institutions are constructed with taxpayers’ money. Politicians should not take personal advantage and claim public projects,” said the administrator.
He added “When you build such a beautiful building and have so many writings on it, you are defacing it yourself,”
Senior police officers and administrators failed to attend the Saturday morning event, leaving Lanet Police Station OCS, a chief inspector, as the only senior-most officer to receive Ruto.
On this, Natembeya clarified that security was only to be provided to the Deputy President and nothing else.
“No police officer was in that place by invitation. Officers at the area were assigned to provide security to the Deputy President, and not to receive the police station,” he said.
Mr Ngunjiri had termed the building’s defacing as political, saying he had launched several other stations earlier which were not defaced.
At the same time Mr Natembeya has assured residents that security has been tightened ahead of the Christmas festive season in anticipation of high numbers of both local and international tourists.
He stated that all regular and Administration police officers who were on leave had been recalled.
“Government has taken stringent measures to ensure that people are safe as they make merry. Security officers will conduct regular patrols,” he said.
Mr Natembeya advised religious leaders to ensure safety of their congregation and be wary of possible terrorist threats when worshipper gathers in large numbers.
He warned private motorists and public service vehicles against flouting traffic rules adding that police will be on high alert on major highways and feeder roads to arrest and prosecute offenders.
Mr Natembeya indicated that calm had been restored in the restive North Rift and additional security personnel had been dispatched into the region to ensure locals enjoy Christmas and New Year festivities without interruptions