Lobbying for a candidate to succeed outgoing Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet has intensified in the past weeks.
Government institutions and officials are said to be in the lead in convincing President Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint one of their own to succeed Boinnet and serve in the position for the next four years.
Leading in the lobbying are National Intelligence Service, Military, National Police Service and as well as politicians.
At least five individuals have been mentioned as possible candidates and their names sent to President Kenyatta for consideration.
The decision, however, lies with Uhuru, who will appoint a name and submit it to Parliament for approval before the individual is appointed and sworn into office.
Boinnet’s term officially ended on March 11 but by yesterday, he said he was still in office awaiting to hand over the button to his successor. “I am waiting for my successor,” Boinnet said.
Senior officer in charge of Border Control - Frontier - at NIS, Nicodemus Musyoka Ndalana, his colleague in charge of Counter Terrorism, Hillary Mutiambai and former NIS official and current Kenya ambassador to Brazil, Isaac Ochieng, have been mentioned as possible successors of Boinnet.
Boinnet is a career policeman who joined NIS in 1998 where he was picked from in 2015.
“NIS is keen on having one of their own take over the NPS because of the lessons that have been learnt through Boinnet. That, however, will depend on the appointing authority,” said an insider aware of the developments.
Other names being mentioned are Brig Fredrick Leuria of Kenya Defence Forces and former Provincial Commissioner Jasper Rugut, the CEO of Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya.
In the police, Deputy Inspector General of Administration Police Service Noor Gabow and spokesman Charles Owino as well as Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe are also being mentioned as possible successors. Gabow is a KPS officer who rose through the ranks.
“We hope an insider will take over. We understand our problems and can solve them better,” said an officer who asked not to be named.
Another official said they were waiting for the new National Police Service Commission to be sworn in for them to name an acting IG as the substantive one is being considered.
The commission comprises Eliud Ndungu Kinuthia as chair and Lilian Kiamba, Eusibius Laibuta, lawyer Naftali Kipchirchir Rono, Alice Atieno Otwala and John ole Mayaki as members.
The acting IG is likely to be either Gabow or Kenya Police DIG Njoroge Mbugua.
In his decision, the President will have to consider regional and tribal balance.
For instance, many officers don’t expect him to name an official from Central to take over because the current NPSC boss is Kinuthia and DIG of KPS is Njoroge.
The position is key in security of the country because as the IG, one runs the National Police Service as the CEO.
He is in charge of the 100,000 personnel in KPS, AP, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and General Service Unit. He sits in several security meetings that make critical decisions for the country. The IG gives directions on various operational matters in the country.
The law says the IG shall be appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament.
The President shall, within 14 days after a vacancy occurs in the office, nominate a person for appointment as an IG and submit the name of the nominee to Parliament.
Parliament shall, within 14 days after it first meets after receiving the names of the nominee, consider the suitability of the nominee; either approve or reject the nominee for appointment; and the Speaker of the National Assembly shall notify the President of the decision of Parliament.
If Parliament approves the nominee, the President shall, within seven days after receiving the notification to that effect, appoint the nominee as the IG.
Boinnet’s exit has elicited a mixture of reactions from various quarters with some saying he failed in many fronts while others stating he had succeeded in many ways.
For instance, those opposed to him say he presided over extrajudicial killing period and indiscipline rose under his period.
But under his watch, a number of reforms have been implemented or are being implemented. For instance, each of the country’s 290 constituencies or sub-counties was named as a police division under the command of the sub-county police commander.
This was a radical shift from the hitherto divisions that were under Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPDs).
In further boosting the command level at the grassroots, all chiefs’ camps that were initially manned by APs, were converted into police posts.
Each of the country’s wards was given a police station and put under the command of the ward police commander, replacing the former Officer Commanding Police Stations (OCS).
Police also adopted a new uniform under his leadership.
It was during his tenure that security agencies adopted a multi-agency approach, which saw regular cooperation between the agencies.
Incidents of cattle rustling went down following various approaches that the police adopted.
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