Persian blue uniform will cure ills ailing police service
Even as officers dismiss the new uniform as ugly, the government insists it is the most beautiful thing to happen in the Kenya’s law enforcement sector since Mahindra, the wonder police jeep of the 1990s.
Sources familiar with the thinking at Harambee and Vigilance houses say the government believes the Persian blue uniform is a cure-all for all the ills in the police service; from poor public relations to highway robbery.
This belief, according to the source, informs the desperate rush to have the officers discard the old uniform and acquire the new one, even if it means holding a gun to heads of River Road tailors to complete making the uniform in record time.
“The uniform will succeed where the change of name from police force to police service, years of police reforms, vetting and the Kenya Police Service Commission failed…this is the real game changer,” said the source.
So sure are the officials that the uniform will trigger a complete transformation of police culture, habits and traditions built and acquired over decades, that they are ready to bet their yearly entertainment allowances.
Among the magical transformations the police are expected to undergo upon wearing the new uniform, is to become allergic to bribes, forget how to use their bludgeons to break the bones of curfew breakers and peaceful protestors and unlearn how to collude with criminals to carry out robberies and murders.
The habit of hopping from one bar to the next chang’aa den every night collecting “protection fees” will cease, as the officers in the new uniform will only be interested in protecting wananchi.
Officers in Persian blue are also expected to promptly report to crime scenes without claiming that they have no fuel for the vehicles or similar cop excuses.
The Persian blue-clad officer will run, walk and crawl without an excuse when duty calls, according to the government.
“In the new police uniform, the motto Utumishi Kwa Wotewill finally mean something. It will no longer be a mockery of the people,” said the source.
In that spirit, the police will shed the rough exterior and acquire a softer, nicer image when dealing with all citizens from the President to the peasant.
Accordingly, the police will learn to address wananchi wa kawaida as “Sir”, help old women and school children cross busy roads, escort men who have had one-too-many on a Friday night home and change a tyre for damsels in distress.
Gone will be the coarse, you-are-guilty-as-sin tone, that the police use whenever they address citizens. In its place will be a Safaricom Customer Care Centre attitude.
At the risk of losing their job, the Persian blue-clad officer will refuse to be used by politicians to fight opponents, or to be paid by crooked businessmen to harass or eliminate rivals.
Asked why police officers do not like the new uniform when it promises to bring about such positive changes in the service, the government source said it was all about resistance to change.
“It is corruption and ineptitude fighting back. But not to worry, they will wear the beautiful uniform if we have to literally force it on their bodies,” he said.
By the time of going to press, sources confided in us that a high-powered delegation of government officials was on its way to Nigeria and America, with samples of the Persian blue police uniform in their bags.
According to the source, the delegation was on a mission to market the uniform as the solution to police brutality, which has in recent days caused waves of unrest in the two countries.
“While in Lagos and Washington, the officials will invite their counterparts to visit Kenya for benchmarking on how change of uniform can change the behaviour of their police officers for the better,” said the source. – [email protected]