Matiang’i bans police officers from marrying amongst themselves starting July

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i. [Photo: Citizen]

The National Police Service (NPS) has banned the marriage of a police officer with another officer within the service in a move geared towards taming sexual harassment and indiscipline among officers.

Speaking at the National Police College Kiganjo Campus on Friday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i said this directive will be implemented starting July 2021.

If an officer wished to marry a colleague in the service, one of them must step down, he said.

This order comes against a backdrop of a litany of complaints from female police officers who lamented sexual harassment by their male bosses.

The complaints were lodged with Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA). The female officers claimed that male bosses have been soliciting sex from them which comes with intimidation.

“They said if they refuse, they face intimidation and threats of disciplinary action, transfer to remote areas, demotion and even sacking,” IPOA stated in July 2020.

A study undertaken in 2013 by IPOA stated that sexual harassment was a thorn in the flesh for female police officers.

“It is definitely a major problem and we are not convinced that there is serious action that is being taken within the management structure to reign in on it. It is a problem that has to be dealt with and that is why we have instituted our own committee to deal with that issue because it is one that requires a lot of attention,” the then IPOA Chairperson Macharia Njeru said as quoted by Capital FM.