National Security amends in the BBI Bill

Yussuf Hajji, the former Chairperson of the BBI team.

Hajji, Yussuf, the departed patriarch who led the BBI team, was passionate about national security matters. And so, numerous amends to the Constitution concerning national security are on the highway to the referendum. We review them.

1. The Kenya Defence Forces and the National Intelligence Service are proposed to be exempt from the purview of the Public Service Commission. Though the two national security organs have autonomy in practice, this will now be constitutionally regularized.

2. The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is scaled as a third arm of the National Police Service, joining their counterparts, being the Kenya Police Service and Administration Police.

3. The DCI gets their own Deputy Inspector General as its chief and membership into the National Police Service Commission provided. The DCI, will now recruit their own staff and have operational autonomy.

4. The unity of command of the Inspector General (IG) into the Police Service is immensely strengthened. It is the IG who shall determine promotions within the service. It is the IG who shall make transfers. And may discipline the officers by suspending them.

5. Establishing a centrality of command around the IG results in a major watering down of the powers of the functions of the National Police Service Commission. It is now left as a shell for conducting recruitment and related Human resource function. The conflicts between the IG and the Commission would be tense of the past.

6. The National Security Council has got its membership broadened, and therein comes the Prime Minister. This is welcome, for it ensures a legislative arm representation in this politburo of security matters.

7. The Director of Public Prosecution gets a huge escalation from being an office within the national executive to an independent office, joining the duo of Auditor General and Controller of Budget. Whereas currently the removal of DPP is initiated through the Public Service Commission, now that will become a province of a tribunal. Further, qualifications for one to be appointed as the DPP is raised from that of one being qualified to be the judge of the High Court to one qualified as a Court of Appeal judge.

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