MPs urge SRC nominee Wangui Muchiri to Prioritize police officers’ mental health

MPs urge SRC nominee Wangui Muchiri to Prioritize police officers’ mental health

When she takes up her post as the National Police Service (NPS) Representative in the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, outgoing Interior Spokesperson Wangui Muchiri has been challenged by National Assembly members to prioritize mental health of police employees and other welfare-related concerns (SRC).
Following a recommendation from the National Assembly Committee on Finance and National Planning, MPs approved her nomination.
Committee Vice-Chairman Ndirangu Waihenya (Roysambu) and Molo MP Kimani Kuria said Muchiri vowed to speed up the appointment of mental health specialists to guarantee that each county has a facility where mental concerns can be addressed during debate on the motion.
She attributed the high levels of mental illness among police officers to the salaries and housing conditions.
On wage sustainability, Muchiri stated that in order to address the ballooning wage bill, the SRC needs to conduct a survey in both the county and national levels of government to ascertain the number of employees required to perform a specific duty.
Speaking in support of her appointment, MPs Millie Odhiambo and Jenifer Shamalla agreed with Muchiri proposal that in order to address the overburdening of the Government, there is a need to formulate policies that encourage the private sector to thrive so as to have more Kenyans in the private sector and ease the pressure on public sector employment.
The Committee led by Homa Bay County Woman Representative Gladys Wanga noted that Muchiri’s experience in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination will be invaluable to NPSC as she was aware of the welfare issues faced by police officers in the country and which will enable her to be a good champion of the NPSC in SRC.
“Further, her experience in communication will play a big role in improving SRC’s communication strategy and in turn improve the Commission’s relationship with stakeholders,” read the Committee report.
On corruption in the National Police Service, Muchiri stated that police officers’ image has been painted negatively due to few corrupt officers.
“I agree that they work under extremely difficult conditions, they also live under extremely difficult conditions. However, I do want to disagree with the fact that the wananchi give them bribes because they know that they are underpaid. I think that value systems are the important line and the foundation for all people. Whether you’re poor or rich,” Nominated MP Shamala stated.
Funyula MP Wilberforce Oundo however opposed Muchiri’s appointment as he claimed that the position was ‘tailored made’ for her by highly placed officials in the Interior Ministry.
Muchiri scored 85.5 percentage points in interviews conducted by the NPSC Chairperson and three Commissioners, the Commission Secretary and representative of the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government.
Julius Olayo (72%), James Ngului (70%), Peter Ole Nkuiraiya (68.5%) and John Masinde (65.3%) were in the top five positions.
Before joining the Ministry of Interior, Wangui worked as the One Campaign Africa Communication Manager,  Deputy Director Africa Media Hub at the U.S. Department of State, Head of Secretariat at the Nairobi Central Business District Association and Corporate Affairs at the Nation Media Group.
She holds a Post Graduate Degree from the Gordon Institute of Business Science and a Communications Degree from Daystar University.

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