In a bid to enhance security and curb incidents of corruption, Kenya has announced plans to eliminate all police roadblocks across the country starting from 1 November 2023.
Interior Cabinet Secretary, Kithure Kindiki revealed that the roadblocks will be replaced with patrol security officers who will be assigned to man highways. This decision was made following widespread complaints about incidents of bribery at the roadblocks.
During a hearing on 24 August, Kindiki emphasized that roadblocks are an outdated form of security and should only be set up upon the request of security operators, with a specific agenda. Once their purpose is fulfilled, they should be swiftly dismantled. The move to do away with roadblocks is in line with a presidential directive.
The decision to remove roadblocks was prompted by concerns raised by the Fafi MP-led committee regarding the alleged harassment of transporters on major highways. The police have been accused of demanding bribes from drivers, causing unnecessary delays, particularly within the East African Community corridor. This has not only affected the efficiency of transportation but has also tarnished the country’s image.
Kindiki also mentioned that the government is actively working on establishing hospitable settlements for refugees in the country, which is one of the Cabinet’s top priorities.
The implementation of the Shirika Plan, which is soon to be operationalized, aims to address all refugee-related matters. The ultimate goal is to provide refugees with welcoming settlements and integrate them into the host communities.
It is important to note that Kenya currently hosts thousands of refugees from various neighboring countries such as Somalia, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. In fact, there are more than 35,000 Ethiopian refugees residing in Kenya. The government’s focus on establishing hospitable settlements reflects its commitment to ensuring the well-being and successful integration of these vulnerable populations.
The decision to eliminate police roadblocks not only aims to enhance security but also to address concerns about corruption within the police force. By replacing roadblocks with patrol security officers, the government hopes to promote transparency and efficiency in law enforcement.
This move also aligns with international best practices and showcases Kenya’s commitment to modernizing its security procedures.
It is expected that the removal of roadblocks will lead to smoother traffic flow and reduce delays for both local and international travelers. This will not only boost the economy but also improve Kenya’s reputation as a safe and secure destination for tourism and investment.