FORMER Commissioner of Police Major General (Rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali turned down an offer to be nominated the new Inspector General of Police.

Sources privy to the behind-the-scenes lobbying in the lead-up to the nomination of Joseph Boinett disclosed that a team of carefully selected elders was dispatched to the retired general’s residence in Karen to impress upon him the importance of taking up the job, but he is reported to have declined the offer.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s senior advisers were of the opinion that Ali’s high profile and bold approach was the type of energy the National Police Service, which is struggling with a ruined image and catastrophic security blunders, needed to reassure the public because a tried and tested officer was in charge.

His ruthless style stopped the spread of Mungiki gang murders and robberies in the city and the Mt Kenya region and was one of the top reasons he had been recommended by the presidential inner circle.

Frequent and unresolved terror attacks, in which hundreds of Kenyans have been killed, have dented the image of the police service severely.

However, people close to the retired military officer intimated that he was reluctant to take up the job because of the treatment he got when he was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over his role during the post-election violence of 2007-08.

During a television interview on Tuesday, Ali said that it would be suicidal for anyone to go back to the job he had quit.

Left with no other alternative and following pressure from URP politicians who were demanding that the new Inspector General comes from Rift Valley, just like former IG David Kimaiyo, the government then fell back on former Director of Criminal Investigations Francis Sang’ and former Kenya Wildlife Service boss Dr Julius Kipng’etich as viable alternatives.

But after deliberations, Kenyatta’s inner circle decided that although Sang’ was a former senior policeman with an exemplary track record, he is disadvantaged by the age factor. He is 58.

Having eliminated Sang’, the team focused on Kipng’etich, currently the Chief Operating Officer at Equity Bank. But the amiable people manager and corporate leader was disqualified because some of Kenyatta’s advisers reasoned that during his tenure at the KWS helm, poaching became a national headache that the parastatal grapples with to date.

Though a strong and credible candidate, his not having worked in the Army or police worked against his chances.

By late Tuesday evening, Kenyatta’s headhunters were under pressure to identify a strong candidate as time was running out and the President would be perceived to be taking his sweet time, yet he  had already signed into law the anti-terror Act that gives him the powers to nominate an IG.

Then the name of NIS spy Boinett was floated before the selectors and his impressive CV coupled with the fact that he hails from Kimaiyo’s Elgeyo Marakwet county, strengthened his case. State House then seized the chance to appease the noisy Marakwet MPs who for the past three weeks have been issuing threats about rethinking their loyalty to the ruling Jubilee coalition after Kimaiyo was forced out.

The career policeman who has risen through the ranks in the Special Branch, the National Security Intelligence Service and the National Intelligence Service was suddenly the right man in the right place at the right time. The President’s men seized the opportunity to strike two birds with one stone as Boinett’s appointment would please disgruntled Elgeyo Marakwet voters and the leadership of the larger Kalenjin community.


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