By Jude Titus
The Nairobi County Government will hire some 650 new security officers to replace city askaris who are due for retirement soon.
This was revealed by the County Secretary Robert Ayisi on behalf of Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero who is on the move to rebrand the city inspectorate.
He said that the retiring, corrupt and brutal askaris will be ejected and 650 new officers will take charge by June this year to streamline county operations.
‘‘We are currently in the process of recruiting 650 new inspectorate officers and firemen to ensure efficiency in the security operations in Nairobi. Most of the firemen now are not able to respond to emergencies when need arises and that is why we need a change,’’ indicated Mr. Ayisi.
He also added that Kidero was in the process of finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding between the Police Service Commission [PSC] and the county government that would give the PSC mandate to take full charge of the hiring exercise.
The Police Service Commission will also be involved in training the rookies before they can start working officially to enhance professionalism in the field.
‘‘Most of our officers are old and more than 200 are approaching their retirement age, which is 60 years. The new batch is going to be trained by the police to ensure that there is a culture change starting from the top level to the lowest level. We want a force that is going to treat people in a humane way,’’ reiterated Ayisi.
The Nairobi askaris are also set to get new uniforms worth Sh80 million from Nairobi County Government as part of the new reforms.
The new uniforms, which will replace the current grey ones will bear a biometric number for easier identification, badges and boots.
The City Council askaris and traders have in the past been engaged in violent altercations in a move that was meant to eject hawkers within the CBD.
The hawkers had in 2009 been removed from the CBD and taken to Muthurwa because of serious complaints from shopkeepers along Moi Avenue, Kenyatta Avenue, Kimathi Street, Ronald Ngala and Tom Mboya who cited obstruction of their premises by the unruly hawkers.