The Kenyan Police Service (KPS) has taken delivery of at least 6 Jino riot control vehicles as well as firearms, ammunition and teargas as the country prepares for possible public protests around the general elections slated for 8 August.
According to local media reports from Nairobi, half a dozen armoured Jino riot control water cannon vehicles, with a maximum capacity of 9 000 litres each, were delivered to the police general headquarters a week ago. They are presently being dispatched to various provincial police command centres.
Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee party and National Super-Alliance rival Raila Odinga will once again battle it out in hotly contested elections, exactly nine years after a highly divisive contest that culminated in inter-party and inter-ethnic clashes that killed and displaced thousands of people.
In a statement, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet warned possible perpetrators of violence that with the new equipment and training programmes, the police were ready to deal with any election-related violence.
“We are ready and waiting for you. We are up to the task. We are satisfied with the security arrangements so far and wish to assure Kenyans no (security) agent will be partisan. We have mobilised all the logistics required to enable us provide a secure environment for the polls. We will be nonpartisan,” Boinnet said.
The Kenyan police already operate over 10 Jino riot control vehicles. A consignment that includes tear-gas canisters, batons, anti-riot vests and guns was delivered through the port of Mombasa a week before the arrival of the vehicles.
The South Korean vehicles have a water capacity of 9 000 litres and can mix dye into the water to mark protestors. Each vehicle is fitted with two nozzles which have a range of 25-75 metres. Up to seven people can be accommodated inside. Other features include a run-flat tyre system, and a Cabin Pressure Control System to keep external gases out in addition to improving ventilation and air pressure control.
In an interview in September 2016, Jino Motors spokesperson Luke Seo said the company counted the governments of Kenya, Chad and Ethiopia among the top 17 African customers for its crowd and riot control vehicles.
“We divide our vehicle size by water tank capacity. Normally, we produce trucks with 6,500 litres, 9,000 litres and 12,000 litres capacities. We modify tank sizes on customer request. If a customer is familiar with Mercedes Benz, we use a Mercedes Benz chassis.
“If a customer wants a MAN chassis, we do that. We have a great deal of experience in using various truck chassis types successfully and these include Hino from Japan, Tata from India or Daewoo from South Korea,” Seo said.
To manage possible election violence scenarios, the Kenyan police have mobilised additional logistics that include helicopters, vehicles and boats from other security and statutory agencies. Three police helicopters will be available with more to come from the Kenya Wildlife Service and other agencies.
Earlier this year the Kenyan Police Air Wing took delivery of a Mil Mi-17V-5 multi-role helicopter from Russian Helicopters as it forges ahead with a force modernisation exercise that includes the acquisition of new aircraft for the Police Air Wing, bringing its Mi-17 numbers to three.
Meanwhile, the Kenyan Police Service recently received 43 Toyota Landcruiser 4X4 patrol vehicles in single-cab configuration. The vehicles were donated by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and they will be used for policing operations in and around the Dadab and Kakuma refugee camps.
In January the Kenyan Police Service officially received 500 vehicles, including 25 Chinese-made CS/VP3 Mine-Resistant Ambush protected vehicles (MRAPs), light trucks and saloons.
“During the first and second phases of the police vehicle leasing programme in the past two years, we have launched a total of 2,220 new assorted police security vehicles. With the launch of these 500 vehicles today, the police now have 2,720 new vehicles to support anti-crime and anti-terrorism operations,” Kenyatta said during the January commissioning ceremony.
In February 2016, the Kenyan police received 30 Norinco VN4 4×4 armoured vehicles from China for use in anti-terror, peacekeeping and police missions by the General Service Unit.