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Uhuru overlooks senior cops, appoints their juniors as deputy IGs

Deputy IG Samuel Arachi
Deputy IG Samuel Arachi

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday made sweeping changes in the hierarchy of the National Police Service only retaining IG Joseph Boinnet at the top.

Uhuru sacked Deputy IGs in charge of Administration Police and the Kenya Police services, Samuel Arachi and Joel Kitili respectively.

Long serving Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss Ndegwa Muhoro was also fired in the changes unveiled in a televised address from State House.

The three were sent to the Public Service Commission for redeployment in a reshuffle that is likely to be challenged in court for lack of gender balance.

This was the first time the president sent all the deputy IGs packing at ago.

Uhuru by-passed senior officers in the ranks of principal deputy IG Kingori and Mwei.

He also overlooked senior deputy IGs - GSU commandant Stephen Chelimo, Director of police operations Benson Kibue, his AP counterpart Peter Pamba; and AP Training commandant Peter Muriithi.

The head of state appointed their juniors to replace them.

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Kenya Police spokesman Charles Owino and Muhoro's deputy Joseph Ashimala were also overlooked.

Kenya Police Training College commandant Noor Gabow and Presidential Escort Commandant Edward Mbugua are APS and KPS bosses in that order.

NPS spokesman George Kinoti was named the acting DCI boss to replace Muhoro.

AP officers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were happy with Arachi's dismissal.

The officers said they were hopeful that Gabow will end impunity at the Jogoo House and ensure payments are timely.

The officers mostly from the AP's Rural Border Patrol and Rapid Deployment Units said they are hopeful that operational allowances will reach their pockets.

"We have been in Operation Linda Boni for two years and we only received our allowances once. We have been wishing that we could be placed under Kitili because our regular police and GSU counterparts have been receiving their allowances monthly without any delays," a police officer said.

Arachi has headed the APS since 2012 following the retirement of former Nakuru governor Kinuthia Mbugua on September 4, 2012.

He was was serving as the commander of Security of Government Unit - the largest unit in APS before appointment to head the AP which he retained after the National Police Service Commission interviews for deputy IGs.

Kitili, a former GSU commandant, replaced Grace Kaindi who was disgracefully removed from the Kenya Police in 2015.

Muhoro's and Arachi's terms were ending in March. Kitili had served for two years as deputy IG after taking over from Kaindi in September 2015.

Muhoro was appointed the head of the defunct Criminal Investigations Department by retired president Mwai Kibaki in January 2010 to replace Simon Karanja.

He applied for the same job after the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution and was interviewed by the NPSC where he emerged top to retain the job.

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Kitili's removal came as a shocker as he was seen as one of Uhuru's most trusted cops.

Mbugua's appointment also was unexpected while King'ori Mwangi was seen as the obvious Kitili's successor, being the senior-most and experienced officer.

However, former IG David Kimaiyo said the appointments were not out of the usual.

"I don't see mischief in those appointments. They are ordinary in the public service. Reshuffles and changes in every office are inevitable."

"Once one has served in the same position or office for sometimes, they gain some experiences and the changes give them opportunities to grow and give chances to others for the same," Kimaiyo told the Star on phone.

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Lawyer Wahome Thuku welcomed the appointment of Kinoti at the helm of DCI.

He said Kinoti was an effective officer when he worked as the head of security at the Central Bank of Kenya before being recalled to Jogoo House where he was appointed the NPS spokesman.

Kinoti headed the team of investigators on attack on renown literary scholar and Kenya's most prolific writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o at Norfalk Hotel in 2003.

"Three out of the four suspects Kinoti pinned down were convicted of the offenses of robbery with violence," Thuku said.

But lawyer Apollo Mboya said the appointments are totally unconstitutional.

He said Uhuru usurped the NPSC mandate and o"and ordered them to do what he said" and the appointments will be challenged in court.

"The NPSC should interview and forward the names to the successful candidates to the President for appointments but what we are seeing is the opposite," Mboya said.

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