We want Man­dera re­servists, say lo­cals

‘Po­lice re­servists do not ha­rass res­i­dents, they don’t take bribes or vic­timise us’

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Northeastern - LEWIS NYAUNDI @TheS­tarKenya

Man­dera res­i­dents yes­ter­day urged the gov­ern­ment to set aside 300 slots for them in the on­go­ing re­cruit­ment of Kenya Po­lice Re­serve of­fi­cers.

Gover­nor Ali Roba said the ma­jor­ity of of­fi­cers should be de­ployed to North­east­ern be­cause it is prone to ter­ror at­tacks.

“Al Shabaab mili­tia fear KPR of­fi­cers be­cause they are well versed with the North­east­ern re­gion ter­rain,” he said

In 2015, KPR of­fi­cers were de­ployed to El Wak town, and there was peace for five months. Three weeks after be­ing pulled out, the town was at­tacked, Roba said.

The res­i­dents said the KPR has bet­ter relations with them than the mil­i­tary and Ad­min­is­tra­tion Po­lice.

“Re­servists do not ha­rass res­i­dents un­like the other se­cu­rity agen­cies. They do not vic­timise us when we give in­for­ma­tion about sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity. We can eas­ily alert them once there is a se­cu­rity threat and they quickly re­spond,” trader Mohammed Abubakar said.

He said the re­servists do not ac­cept bribes from sus­pects. A re­servist told the Star some of­fi­cers have to work day and night be­cause they are un­der­staffed.

“We are fa­tigued be­cause we are forced to trek miles across the for­est dur­ing pa­trols,” he said.

The of­fi­cer said many re­servists work “side jobs” be­cause of poor pay. Yes­ter­day, In­te­rior CS Joseph Nkaissery said the gov­ern­ment has set aside Sh600 mil­lion to re­cruit and train po­lice re­servists.

The state in­tends to hire 3,200 re­servists. Two hun­dred re­servists have been de­ployed to Ke­rio Val­ley to re­store peace.

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