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Matiang’i bans romance among Police officers

It will soon be a crime for a police officer in Kenya to fall in love with a colleague.

This is after the National Police Service (NPS) announced plans to bring reforms that will prevent police officers from getting married amongst themselves.

This, the NPS says, will help curb the rise in sexual harassment and indiscipline in the force.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Friday said the ministry will craft rules rising cases in which officers kill themselves in love triangles.

The CS was speaking during the commissioning of the direct entry cadet inspectors course at the National Police College Kiganjo Campus in Nyeri.

“Senior officers will be prohibited from having affairs with junior officers. One will have to leave the service,” Matiangi said.

“We have to adopt a new way (of doing things). We will create a new gender relations office that will be under the supervision of the Inspector General of Police. Some of the female police officers have filed sexual harassment complaints. I want to assure you that it won’t happen in the future,” added the CS.

He said his ministry is concerned by the rising numbers of National Police Service officers killing their loved ones who are also in the forces.

The CS, however, said police officers who are already married to their colleagues won’t be affected by the new directive.

At the same time, the CS also put the media on the spot, claiming journalists often paint police officers in bad light.

“Let us not condemn the entire Service because of one person’s mistake. Unlike the media, we (law enforcement officers) don’t have a platform to publicly air our grievances,” he said.

The police service has in recent past registered surging cases of crimes of passion with the latest involving a police officer attached to Matiang’i’s office.

The police constable shot dead his wife before turning the gun on himself.

While eulogizing the officer, Matiang’i said it was a pain to lose such a young couple.

“It’s a rude awakening to psychological challenges amongst some of the young officers that we have no choice but to now paying greater attention to. My sincere condolences to their families and friends,” he said.

According to reports, the incident followed a disagreement between Hudson Wakise and wife Pauline Wekesa over infidelity claims.

A 2020 report by the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) disclosed the increasing number of suicide cases in the police service was tied to the minimal supervision over junior officers living in private residentials.

“Stagnation in rank, disciplinary actions arising from desertion and inadequate monitoring of junior officers leaving outside police lines are among causes of stress in officers identified,” the report read in part.