We want Mandera reservists, say locals
‘Police reservists do not harass residents, they don’t take bribes or victimise us’
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.