The Machakos County government has built houses for senior police officers at Athi River Police Station in Mavoko.
Speaking Wednesday when he handed over the houses to the Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai, Governor Alfred Mutua called on the government to increase police salaries, benefits and housing benefits instead of those of the politicians.
Governor Mutua said that if the economy cannot cater for increased housing allowances for police officers, then it should not do so for MPs, governors or even the President.
“Kenya needs to be a fair country that takes care of all of us and not just leaders. Police service is reflected in the motivation of our officers. Yes, their salaries may have been increased but when you consider that they are at the receiving end of bullets and other ordinances, they are not paid enough. In all honesty, the conversation in the country should be about adding their allowances,” Dr Mutua said.
The Machakos governor revealed that his county has now built good houses for officers based in Athi River, saying he has always been unhappy seeing the conditions in which some of the officers live.
The men and women in uniform, he said, contribute greatly to the safety and peace of mind that ordinary Kenyans have.
But the reality is that for many years, unlike their counterparts in Europe, Australia, Canada, the United States, Brazil, South Africa and other nations, Kenyan police officers have not been treated well and fairly, Dr Mutua said.
He commended former president Mwai Kibaki’s administration and that of President Uhuru Kenyatta for what they have done to improve the welfare of the officers but admitted that the situation is still bad.
“That is why we have installed CCTV cameras, provided vehicles for policing and now partnered in building decent homes for our men and women in uniform,” he said.
He added that his administration has offered to provide paint and repair materials and staff to revamp all police stations in the county so as to bring them to international standards.
That way, he said, the police officers will be able to work in a conducive environment and people will receive good service in clean and modern facilities when they visit police stations.
“Our interest is to deliver a county that is secure where business can thrive and our people get to make money in harmony. We want to grow wealth and this cannot be done if security is not assured,” Governor Mutua said.