Homa Bay Town MP, Peter Kaluma, has raised concerns about the legality of recent police promotions carried out by the Inspector General of Police, Japhet Koome. Koome announced the promotions, but shortly after, the Chairman of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC), Eliud Kinuthia, declared the move null and void.
However, IG Koome defended his actions, stating that he was acting within the confines of the law. Kaluma, speaking on the matter, argued that the law does not permit an individual to make decisions regarding recruitment and promotions. He criticized the encroachment of the inspector general into the constitutional jurisdiction of an independent commission, questioning the purpose of the NPSC if such decisions were not within their purview. Kaluma disagreed with the validity of the promotions made by Koome, asserting that they were likely influenced by favoritism and personal connections.
Koome’s decision faced severe criticism, including from the Law Society of Kenya (LSK). Eric Theuri, the President of LSK, pointed out that the law does not grant Koome the authority to make appointments or determine promotions within the National Police Service. According to Theuri, the powers exercised by Koome go beyond what is allowed by Section 10 of the National Police Service Act. He stated that the responsibility of making appointments, promotions, and transfers within the NPS exclusively rests with the National Police Service Commission under Article 246(3)(a) of the Constitution.
The LSK President emphasized that the NPSC Act only authorizes the IG to recruit, appoint, or promote officers below the rank of superintendent. Therefore, the powers to make such decisions for higher-ranked officers are solely reserved for the commission. Theuri argued that Koome’s actions amounted to a serious violation of the Constitution, the NPS Act, and the National Police Service Commission Act.