UDA presidential running mate Rigathi Gachagua has come under heavy criticism from a section of the political class over plans to change police uniforms if elected in August polls.
Gachagua had on Saturday, June 11, 2022, claimed that the police don’t like the new persian blue uniform, promising to revert to the old navy blue and jungle green colours once elected.
While criticizing Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and PS Karanja Kibicho, the Mathira Member of Parliament claimed the new uniforms were imposed on the officers by the security bosses without their input.
“You have suffered so much in the hands of Matiang’i and Kibicho. Even the new blue uniform that you don’t want will be revoked and we return to the old one. The blue one will be left for PCEA church. It is the uniform of women’s guild,” he said.
But in a quick rejoinder, exiled lawyer Miguna Miguna hit out at the politician arguing that changing the police uniform shouldn’t be a priority at the moment.
Miguna, who currently resides in Canada, said the Kenya Kwanza formation should prioritize issues affecting Kenyans such as the current economic hardships and social justice.
“This is a silly sideshow. No one asked you to change the police uniform. Focus on the agendas of 50 million Kenyans – jobs, human rights, democracy, rule of law, electoral and social justice. If not, shut up,” Miguna said in a tweet.
Lawyer Makau Mutua also weighed in on the matter saying police reforms have nothing to do with the colour of the clothes.
“UDA’s DP nominee Rigathi Gachagua says he’ll reform the police by changing their uniform from BLUE to YELLOW. He says blue belongs to the PCEA’s Women’s Guild where he shall return it. What do police reforms have to do with the color of the uniform? What did women do to UDA?” Mutua posed.
President Uhuru Kenyatta changed the colour of the police uniform in 2018 to make the security teams ‘more visible’ when performing their duties.
Gachagua promises on police salaries
Speaking at the Kenya Kwanza economic forum in Nyandarua county, Gachagua vowed to spearhead a revision of the salaries and wages of the officers, which he says have stagnated since the end of Kibaki’s tenure.
The lawmaker further accused Matiangi and Kibicho of intimidating police officers by forcing them to back Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
“We want to tell chiefs that we have heard they are being intimidated to help Raila win, failure to which they risk losing their jobs. Don’t worry, we only have 57 days remaining and we will give you back your jobs. We want to guarantee all officers that their jobs are safe,” he added.
The event was attended by a host of politicians allied to the Kenya Kwanza coalition including UDA presidential candidate William Ruto.