The Independent Policing Oversight Authority has joined Constitutional Commissions and other Independent Offices in an endeavour to rally members of the public at the grassroots to participate in governance discussions. On a technical level, the participants will on their part use the occasion to exchange best practices to find solutions to the challenges they face.
The three-day forum kicked off in Meru on Wednesday and is set to be graced by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta this Friday. This is the 7thAnnual Conference of Constitutional Commissions and Independent Offices and is themed: Public Participation: Pathway to Sustainable Development.
In her address, IPOA chairperson Mrs. Anne Makori told the participants that IPOA is charged with the responsibility of ensuring there’s civilian participation in policing. She further said that “the inaugural IPOA team was very active and we commit to be equally active and seek cooperation with other institutions. Article 244 of the Constitution dictate the National Police Service shall strive for the highest standards of professionalism and discipline among its members.”
The current IPOA Board was sworn into office on September 21, following the exit of the inaugural Board in May. Mrs. Makori added: “IPOA exists as a civilian accountability mechanism and we shall continue devolving to keep it alive. We already have nine regional offices. To ensure there is public participation IPOA also participated in this year’s ASK shows and LSK legal awareness week.”
Speakers at the forum likewise called for enhanced public participation in governance and administrative issues that affect them. The current chairperson of the forum, who also chairs the Teachers Service Commission Ms. Lydia Nzomo said the conference will generate resolutions that will require “individual and collective actions to implement.”
IPOA Board member Ms. Praxedes Tororey told the participants: “Public Participation is extremely important because our mandate is delegated by the people.” She called on the institutions to consider carrying out social audits and at the same time formulate policies on public participation.
Public Service Commission Chairman Stephen Kirogo challenged the participants to explore strategic public awareness creation mechanisms. In concurrence, other speakers also called for innovative, cheaper and more effective mass outreach strategies including online platforms.