Wed. Dec 11th, 2019

Community policing crucial for beefing up security at grassroots levels, police spokesman says

National Police Service spokesperson Charles Owino addressing peace champions at Royal Court hotel on July 25,2019 Image: Courtesy

BY PETER KOMBE

National Police Service spokesperson Charles Owino has asked the Coastal people to promote community policing (CP) as a way of enhancing security in their neighborhoods.

Mr Owino, speaking at a Mombasa hotel on July 25, 2019 during Haki Africa’s launch of a peace ambassador taskforce, said wananchi’s involvement in matters security through CP would go a long way to deal with the issues of forceful disappearance among the locals.

He was responding to queries raised by civil societies over the disappearance of persons believed to be done by security agents. According to the human rights defenders such cases have become rampart in the recent times.

“Rights have limits. It is the duty of the police to protect life and property. Again it is important that we all promote community policing as a way of beefing up security,” said the spokesman.

Asking the region’s residents to be vigilant, Mr Owino appealed to them to report to the security personnel any ‘peculiar’ person acting in suspicious manner within their neighbourhood.

Peace Champions following proceedings during the Haki Africa conference at a Mombasa hotel on July 25, 2019
Image: Courtesy

COMMUNITY POLICING

He urged the residents to start community policing with a view of tightening their personal and homeland security within the context of the law.

“What you are complaining about the disappearance of people will be a thing of the past if you work together as a team and smoke out any stranger within your midst,” he said.

He urged the youths to trickle down the gospel of peace to the grassroots by working closely with the police department.

On corruption allegations against the police, Mr Owino told the public to stop bribing the police force and instead report such cases to their senior officers for action to be taken against them.

Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid asked the youth to act as peace ambassadors in their communities through their words and deeds.

According to him the organization was working closely with the security apparatus to ensure that youths remain resilient from becoming radicalized.

“What I can say is that there is disconnect between the police and the public but this can be addressed through cultivating trust them,” he said.

Mombasa County Youth, Gender and Sports executive Munywoki Kyalo said the department was investing in youths through creation of investment opportunities.

This move is geared at curbing radicalization and violent extremism among the youths some of whom are doing drugs and indulging in alcohol abuse.

“We are committed as a county government to ensure that youths have an access to the opportunities available,” he said adding that his department would bring together all youths across the county during the International Youth Day slated on August 12.

AGENTS OF CHANGE

Kisauni Deputy County Commissioner Kipchumba Rutto asked the youth champions to act as an agent of change in their communities.

“Our role is to protect life and property. We also maintain law and order. Without peace the city’s social economic and political fabric is affected,” he said.

He added that the government was committed to protect not only its people but also their properties within the county.

The Haki Africa conference brought together 36 peace champions’ ambassadors comprising of 12 assistant’s commissioners, 12 ward administrators and 12 youth leaders from the six sub counties.

DISABILITY IS NOT INABILITY

Activists addressing the media over the plight of challenged women’s accessibility to healthcare services within counties in the Coast region Image: Courtesy

Meanwhile, This Ability managing director Lizzie Kiama has appealed to the Coast counties to set aside a special kitty to address challenged women’s health concerns.

Speaking in Mombasa on July 24, 2019, she urged the counties to keep accurate data of women with disabilities to facilitate policy engagement.

“This is something the county governments should think about. They need to take the challenge as a way of addressing their socioeconomic problems,” she said.

The MD cites forced procedures such as abortion, sterilization and stigma as some of the challenges facing such women in society.

She adds: “We want to amplify the voices and increase the visibility of women and girls with disabilities.”

FIDA Kenya lawyer Terry Mwongela says they are working closely with the civil society to ensure that women with disability access justice at the courts.

According to her about 80 per cent of women with disability can now access justice at the courts noting that FIDA is working closely with WWDs to ensure this happens at no cost.

Human Rights Agenda (HURIA) community and partnership engagement officer Mwinyihaji Ali says the program will uplift such women in the society to realise their potentials.

Jemima Kutata from Champion of Inclusion and Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Kenya however admits that WWDs face a myriad of challenges at the grassroots level.

To access healthcare services, Ms Kutata says disability mainstreaming is vital to identify sign language interpreters and disability friendly equipment within the health systems in the Coast region.

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