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Raila Odinga: Our Police Service Has A Colonial Mentality

ODM party leader Raila Odinga says the Kenya police department requires a complete revamp to move it away from a colonial mentality.

According to Raila, the police force continues to use colonial practices, such as arresting and harassing civilians.

“Hali ya police ni ya kusikitisha sana, our police are against the people, “ the ODM leader said.

Raila says the government should look into issues like salaries, housing, and even the uniforms that police officers wear as part of the raft of reforms he believes will turn the service around.

Speaking during an interview with Kikuyu radio stations on Friday, the ODM leader said Kenya has not invested in police reforms, which has negatively impacted the service.

“Zile siku za ukoloni, kazi ya polisi ilikuwa kushika na kupiga raia, lakini sasa hivi, polisi wanapaswa kuwa utumshi kwa wote,” he said.

In Kenya, for instance, a person who asks an officer for directions may be arrested and arraigned on charges of loitering with the intent to commit a felony, according to the ODM leader.

“In London, an officer will even salute you after giving you the directions, this is majorly because police officers are servants of the people and not their lords,” Raila said.

Raila says that if elected president, he will reform the sector by improving living conditions, ensuring better pay, and providing nicer uniforms for police.

“Hali ya kimaisha iboreshwe, wapate mshahara wasihangaishe wanannchi kwa barabara wanataka rushwa,” the 2022 president

During the conversation, the ODM leader also joked that the new blue police uniforms make cops look like security guards.

“Na pia uniform ibadilishwe, hii ya blue inakaa ya watchman, ukiona polisi anakuja hujui ama ni security guard,” Raila said.

With the most recent incident, the killing of two brothers in Embu who had been apprehended for violating curfew laws, the police force has come under fire, particularly on issues of police brutality.

There have also been a high number of murders within the police force and incidents of domestic abuse.

According to Raila all the ills will be done away with in police reforms that need to begin from top down.


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