Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai has moved to streamline clearance of VIPs on roads and highways, which would see majority of Cabinet Secretary and other senior government officials lose their priority status. Among those not categorised are the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice, despite presiding over an independent arm of government.
In a directive, which takes effect immediately, Mutyambai has placed VIPs in various categories to indicate the level of priority they should be accorded while travelling by road.
Category 1 has the President, the Deputy President, the First Lady, the Cabinet Secretaries for Defence, Interior and Foreign Affairs and the Interior Principal Secretary.
Those in Category 2 are the Chief of Defence Forces, Service Commanders of Defence Forces, Inspector General of the National Police Service, the Deputy Inspector General – Kenya Police Service and the Deputy Inspector General – Administration Police Service.
Category 3 has the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Speaker of the Senate and the Majority Leader of the National Assembly.
Retired Presidents and the Retired Prime Minister fall in Category 4 while Ambulances and Fire Brigade fall in Category 5.
Mutyambai directed that all other vehicles that have been placed in Category 6 will required authority of officers in charge of traffic in respective regions (Traffic 1) on special cases.
“All other vehicles, including Government vehicles (GK) are expected to follow the normal traffic flow. Any Government vehicle found violating traffic regulations, especially those overlapping, the drivers shall be arrested and charged in accordance to the law,” the IG directed.
Mutyambai’s move is aimed at curbing rogue behaviours by rogue GK drivers and security aides of CSs, other senior government officials and MPs, who intimidate other motorists as they seek to defeat traffic gridlocks to quickly reach their destinations.
The security men are always sunglasses and wave their walkie-talkies out of the back windows of siren-blaring chase cars to push other motorists off the road and even block the road halting smooth traffic flows.
Apart from overlapping and flouting of traffic rules, they often also drive on the wrong side of the road.
In most cases, they even intimidate traffic police officers when they to right the situation even as their conduct endangers the lives of other motorists and pedestrians leaving them vulnerable to road accidents.
The issue was first raised by activist Boniface Mwangi when he blocked a ‘VIP’ motorcade on a Nairobi highway in March forcing the police to issue a statement warning VIP drivers to follow the highway code and traffic rules.