In a surprising turn of events, the Inspector General of Police and his officers were seen sporting the newly launched police uniforms in Kenya, igniting a heated debate among netizens. Despite the positive remarks from some quarters, the majority of online users expressed their disappointment and frustration with the government’s decision to introduce new uniforms.
User Don Obee opined that the new uniform resembles a church uniform and does not match the old ones, while Jaytee Juma questioned the government’s misplaced priorities, stating that there is a budget for this while other state agencies are facing reduced budgets. Steve Warui expressed similar sentiments, pointing out that the government should not be spending money on new uniforms when the country is facing an empty treasury and high cost of living.
The new uniform launch is part of the police reform initiatives by the welfare task force formed by President William Ruto. The National Police Service Commission had previously asked the task force to revert to the old police uniform for general duty officers, as the deep blue uniform introduced in 2019 was not deemed gender-responsive for female officers, especially during pregnancy.
On January 15, President Ruto’s administration allowed the police to wear the uniforms phased out by former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government. The poor quality and shortage of the all-royal blue uniform was cited as the reason behind the reintroduction of the old uniform.
As a result, general duty Kenya Police Service (KPS) officers will now operate with two sets of uniforms, the old and the new, until the task force on police reforms gives its final recommendations on which uniform to keep in use.
In conclusion, the launch of the new police uniforms has sparked intense discussions and debates among Kenyans, with many questioning the government’s priorities and spending habits. The arrangement of having two sets of uniforms in use at the same time is expected to continue until the final recommendations from the police reform task force are made.