It is now unlawful for Kenya Police officers to take to social media to speak about the challenges they undergo. The directive was issued in a recent memo signed by Mwangi Wanderi of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI). This comes in the wake of many public outcries by police officers on social media to air their grievances.

“The Inspector General has noted with a lot of concern that officers have developed a habit of using social media to advance their grievances without exhausting the laid down channels which include quality assurance/complaint and gender offices at service headquarters and the internal affairs unit,” the Memo by Wanderi read in part.

In Kenya, Chapter 24 section 55 of the service standing orders prohibits information transmission by members of the service on social media unless they can clearly be linked to the conduct of official business. By airing their grievances on social media, Police officers violate this order.

According to Wanderi, it was an offence against discipline under section 6(w) chapter 30 of the standing orders to disclose or convey any information on police matters without proper authority. “Sharing information with the media whether verbally or otherwise must be done in accordance with the regulations. Serious disciplinary action will be taken against any police officers found abusing the use of social media and sharing information with the press without authority,” the Memo read further said.

He further directed all police bosses across all ranks to ensure that they convey the contents in the Memo to their juniors.