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Police Salaries Raised in Sh5 Billion Reform Plan in Kenya

Published on Thursday 8th July 2010

Police officers and prison warders were on Wednesday awarded a long-awaited 28 per cent salary increment. Senior officers also benefited from the raise, but at the lower rate of 25 per cent.

This is only the first instalment of a pay plan that will see the salary of the lowest- earning officers doubled in three years.

According to the new structure released by Internal Security minister George Saitoti, a freshly recruited police constable and prison warder will earn Sh34,000, up from Sh18,155, including allowances.

The first phase will be paid out at the end of the month. Other benefits such as house, risk and medical allowances, will be reviewed from next year, due to budgetary constraints. This means that police constables and prison warders, being the lowest ranked officers, will take home Sh21,205 at the end of this month.

Prof Saitoti said: "The government has made available Sh5.1 billion for the first phase to focus on basic salaries. The second and third phases enhance basic salary and various allowances." "We are also keen to ensure officers are adequately covered against risks inherent in their jobs. Discussions are at an advanced stage on modalities to fund an insurance scheme," he said.

Currently, a fresh constable's starting monthly basic salary is Sh11,010 and the maximum is Sh17,790. A constable can qualify for the maximum basic salary after serving at this rank for 15 years without promotion. A Sh5,000 risk allowance, Sh1,650 as housing supplementation and Sh485 as medical allowance is also paid to officers at this rank.

These officers are the face of the force because they are the ones who interact with the public and are to be found on report desks and in street patrols. A corporal's starting pay has been Sh14,370, with a maximum of Sh27,345, but has now been reviewed to between Sh18,340 and Sh35,000, with allowances accounting for an additional Sh7,800.

Sergeants will earn between Sh25,150 and 37,400 up from Sh19,170-Sh29,305, plus Sh8,540 in allowances. Prof Saitoti also promised that better self-contained houses would be built for officers since at present, up to three officers and their families share a house.

Senior sergeants' new salaries are between Sh27,840 and Sh41,200 against the current Sh21,375-Sh32,270, with allowances of Sh9,040. The Police Inspector or Chief Officer II for the prison services will earn between Sh29,740 and Sh44,000, compared to the current scale of Sh23,165-Sh34,460.

Allowances for officers in this rank total Sh11,990 maximum. Inspectors normally make vital decisions in the force since station commanders (OCSs) of rural police stations are appointed from this rank. Chief inspectors command stations in urban centres with the current basic salary ranging between Sh25,640 and Sh37,745 but has now been raised to the scale of Sh32,800-Sh48,200. Their allowances are pegged at Sh16,245.

Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta did not provide money for increased salaries when he tabled this year's Budget in Parliament. As a result, disquiet crept in among junior officers, forcing senior security ministry officials to persuade Mr Kenyatta to grant the Sh5.1 billion, just hours before Parliament passed the ministry's vote.

This was a hurried action to avert possible disruption of services as junior officers were threatening to protest by refusing to provide security during the referendum. Other senior ranks include superintendents. Officers in this grade and above are regarded as gazetted officers and are qualified to be appointed commissioners of police at the President's discretion.

In rural areas, they command police divisions, the equivalent of districts, and are known as OCPDs. These positions are held by senior superintendents in Nairobi and other urban areas. New starting scale for superintendents is Sh33,900 - Sh51,880, up from Sh26,500 - Sh40,635, while their seniors will earn between Sh39,800 and Sh59,640, up from a police reforms, being implemented in line with recommendations of the Justice Philip Ransley commission.

Police salaries are not any better in the other East African countries. In Tanzania, police salaries range from the lowest starting point of Tsh164,000 (Ksh8,962) ) to highest of Tsh350,000 (KSh19,126). Constable recruits are required to be single for at least three years of service before a minimal increment in house allowance once they marry. In Uganda, the entry salary for a constable is Ush200,000 (Ksh7,194) while for corporals it is Ush250,000 (Ksh8,993).

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