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Uhuru abolishes free housing for junior officers, introduces allowances

Junior police officers will now get house allowances following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive abolishing police lines within 90 days.

The president, when he announced the changes on Thursday, said the move will help police integrate with civilians.

“The policy of free housing for junior officers is hereby abolished and instead house allowance for all ranks of this officers will be provided.”

Uhuru also directed Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich to terminate the lease with the landlords in police estates within 90 days.

He spoke during an event at the Kenya School of Government where he also announced the merger of AP and Kenya Police. 

“The officers will have to vacate houses and enter into private tenancy,” Uhuru said.

“All officers in shared houses shall vacate them within the 90 days and integrate into their communities and neighborhoods.”

Early this year, the government abandoned an ambitious plan to build houses for the police and instead opted to introduce house allowances for all cadres of officers.

Details: How government abandoned ambitious police housing project

The government had planned to put up 1,850 units in the pilot phase of a comprehensive strategy to improve the living conditions of police and prison staff.

The project, initiated three years ago, involved the construction of self-contained houses in various parts of the country.

This was contrary to a recommendation by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority in 2016.

The authority in a 2016 study recommended accommodation for only specialised paramilitary police units and officers in remote areas.

Sending police officers out of the residences has been hailed as a step towards solving the accommodation crisis at the various stations.

A number of cops have lived in squalor as they were forced to share houses, at times more than two people.

Also read: Matiang’i, IG to give plan for solving police housing crisis

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