Traffic commandant stripped powers in new changes

The National Police Service has decentralised the Traffic Department, stripping the Traffic Commandant of powers to control traffic countrywide.

The changes according to NPS spokesperson, George Kinoti are meant to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of officers working under the formation as well as fight corruption.

All traffic operations will now be done under the command off the County Police Commanders and not the overall Traffic Commandant at the Traffic Headquarters in Nairobi, along Thika Road.

The changes which take effect immediately were communicated on Tuesday, in a letter by Deputy Inspector General, Kingori Mwangi, to all county and Regional Commanders.

In the letter, Mr Mwangi said the changes were made following the need to take immediate steps to unbundle traffic department and decentralise the command of all traffic bases countrywide.

“The Inspector General has observed that the current structure, command and control of the department is incongruous with the new setup of the National police Service,” Mr Mwangi noted.

Mr Joel Kitili, the Deputy Inspector General, Kenya Police, under which the formation operates, instructed all county commanders to be in charge of the day to day traffic operations and the personnel, arms, vehicles and other equipment will be directly under their charge.

After the changes, the current traffic commandant Jecinta Kinyua, will be in charge of traffic policy formulation, research, traffic statistics, government vehicle unit and check unit, highway patrol, driving schools, and officers under the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

She will also be in charge of all Traffic training institutions, affairs and courses but will no longer issue commands to traffic officers.

All Divisional Traffic Officers (DTOs) will report to the county commanders through the respective Officers in Charge of Police Divisions, OCPDs.

Nairobi is the only county that has a County Traffic Commandant, which need, according to Mr Kinoti, was because of the nature of traffic.

The Capital’s traffic Commandant, Leonard Katana, will not be answerable to the County Commander Japhet Koome.

Mr Kinoti said the NPS was optimistic that the new changes would make it easier to manage the operations of the formation which has constantly been accused of being the most corrupt entity in the country.

“The county commander will now be in charge of handling all disciplinary actions against officers accused of corruption and misconduct,” he said.

Traffic police officers were initially working under the command of the Provincial Police Officers and OCPD before they were placed under the traffic Department.

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