In Summary
  • For Nicholas Amokoh, “too many” pockets are the biggest problem with the new uniform.
  • He believes these ‘bags’ will not help the corruption problem in the police force.
  • Kenya Police have for the past four years topped Transparency International's corruption perception index despite efforts to stop the vice.

Some described it as an “extreme makeover” when President Kenyatta unveiled the new uniforms for General Duty Police Officers as he sought to revamp the police service on Thursday.

But is it?

Many Kenyans don’t think so, with some describing it bluntly as “very ugly”.

“These uniforms are the ugliest ever!!! Will this reform police from corruption? @UKenyatta should instead think of better ways of driving this beautiful nation of ours,” Dennis Mutai, an investment risk management adviser, tweeted on Friday.

police uniform

Some argue the new uniform is not a priority and that budget should have been spent on more pressing needs like poor salaries and poor working conditions. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Paul Mwariri returned a similar verdict after he compared the Persian-blue gear with the old ones navy blue trousers, white shirts/blouses, navy blue jackets and berets.

“Very very ugly! The old one was much better! There are many other things that need to be changed in the police...uniform is not one of them!” he shot, a feeling shared by Victor Mzolex.

“Our initial uniform is fantastic, commanding and illustrates fitness. This has (a)Ugandan flag, looks like ya kanjo, now you cannot differentiate between a police officer and a salvation army band member.”

Many said they were used to the white shirts/blouses and navy blue trousers and jackets that General Duty Police Officers, a new branch of Kenya Police, used to wear.

police uniform

The Kenya Police uniform that the General Duty Police Officers will drop. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

For Nicholas Amokoh, “too many” pockets are the biggest problem with the new uniform.

He believes these ‘bags’ will not help the corruption problem in the police force.

The Kenya Police has for the past four years topped Transparency International's corruption perception index despite efforts to stop the vice.

“These uniform has numerous pockets. Blazer has four, trouser has four too, now they easily subsidies upper wings for coins and lower wing for notes, Kenya tulikosea wapi?” he posted.

police uniform

Do police really need new uniforms? Some Kenyans have asked. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Former Agriculture Minister Kipruto arap Kirwa shared Mr Amokoh’s view, saying he wished the pockets were smaller.

“It is good for policemen to look good. However, the public ought to have been involved in deciding the new police uniform. I feel the pockets should even be smaller,” he said.

But for others, like Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr, colours and pockets are not an issue.

Their concern is the resources that will be spent on a new police wardrobe, which they feel should have been put to better use.

“The new police uniform reminds me of the biblical story of new wine in old wine skins! Police are poorly paid & live in deplorable conditions... if you ask them for their views , uniform will not be in top ten need list,” he tweeted.

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