Will Uhuru Kenyatta appoint a member of the Kamba community as Inspector General of Police after the expiry of Joseph Boinnet’s tenure?
That is the question on the lips of many Kenyans in the security sector.
Already, the search has kicked off in earnest for Boinnet’s replacement as the expiry of his term nears. Boinnet, who was sworn in on March 11 2015 had successfully tackled the terror attacks that had gripped the country. He is due for retirement in slightly less than three months as outlined within the constitution which explicitly states: “The Inspector-General shall be appointed for a single four-year term and is not eligible to be re-appointed”.
A cut-throat competition by power players who are keen on influencing Uhuru’s next choice of the police boss to their favour has kicked off in earnest.
Currently, those mentioned as likely to succeed Boinnet are Edward Mbugua, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Police, and Noor Gabow, the head of Administration Police
Other names being mentioned are those of National Intelligence Service Director General Phillip Kameru and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.
Already, there is intense lobbying for either Mbugua or Gabow to succeed Boinnet since both were appointed to their positions this year after the firing of Joel Kitili (then Deputy IG in charge of police) and Samuel Arachi (Deputy IG in charge of AP).
Mbugua, seen as a close ally of the president, having previously worked as the head of the presidential guard and his appointment for as deputy IG despite being aged above 55, raised eyebrows.
But well versed sources say Mbugua and Gabow are disadvantaged due to tribal considerations.
For one, the president does not want to appoint a Kikuyu to the position while for Gabow, already the Somali community is represented by Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji in more or less a similar role.
For Kinoti, the president is of the view he is doing a superb job, particularly in the fight against corruption. Kinoti is from the Meru community.
Uhuru, according to insiders is keen to mend fences with the members of the Kamba community still bitter with the way their daughter, Grace Kaindi was removed from office. Before her removal, Kaindi was the highest ranking woman in the service and those in the know say she discharged her duties well.
Kaindi was dislodged after Uhuru announced a raft of changes within the top echelons of the National Police Service
Her position was taken over by then General Service Unit Commandant Kitili who was to be hounded out later.
But for some time, Kaindi refused to hand over to Kitili even after she was persuaded to do so by her boss, Boinnet. She later left the service.
Sources say that Uhuru is keen to bring the Kamba community to his fold by dishing the IG’s slot to them, noting it will cool the political temperatures which are still high in the area following the prosecution of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.
1963 – 1978 ( Kikuyu president)
1978 – 2003 (Kalenjin president)
2003 – 2013 (Kikuyu president)
2013 – 2022 (Kikuyu president)
2022 – (a campaign led by Khalwale to elect a Kalenjin as the president)
There are 42 tribes. We want another tribe up there!
— Eric (@amerix) November 4, 2018
Save for Foreign cabinet secretary Monica Juma, who is married to Peter Kagwanja from Murang’a county, the only visible senior figure in Uhuru’s government is State House Chief-of-Staff Nzioka Waita.
Waita, the head of the Presidential Delivery Unit, is emerging as the new power broker at State House. The new senior police officers from the Kamba community include Philip Ndolo, the Kapu commandant, Miriam Muli, inspection boss, Rogers Mbithi, director, Airwing and Solomon Makau, in charge of the Standard Gauge Railway.