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Whistleblowers will be safe, says Nyumba Kumi team

Whistle blowers in the Nyumba Kumi initiative will be protected as only the leader of the basic neighbourhood structure will pass information to the police without necessarily revealing their sources.

Taskforce on Community Policing officials said the fear of reprisals had been one of the reasons why individuals previously shied away from giving information to the police, with some officers selling out their sources.

Victimisation

Governor Evans Kidero said: “It is clear that many people fail to report criminals for fear of victimisation. This means that a more community-based security initiative is necessary.”

The draft organisation structure for the initiative reveals a parallel system with one arm supplying information up the chain.

The information will be evaluated and the action to be taken communicated down the chain of command in the other arm that will mostly comprise law enforcers.

Team chairman Joseph Kaguthi said the initiative could be based on as many as 20 households making up a manageable cluster.

“The committees shall be established in residential places, business areas, villages and estates. In urban centres, owners of business enterprises will cluster themselves into manageable groups to form business committees just like in residential areas,” reads the task force draft guidelines.

The committees are expected to meet in the first week of every month.

Residents who had gathered at City Hall  to give views on the initiative said the leader of each cluster ought to be selected by the members after thorough vetting.

They criticised the previous community policing model in which leaders was imposed by the Government.

Mathare North resident Kamau Njenga said: “We want to decide who the leader at Nyumba Kumi committee is. Some of the leaders we had in the past were the sellers of bhang and gun runners.”