By Cyrus Ombati
Post Master General Hussein Ali has been retired from the military.
The Defence Council, which met in Nairobi last week, retired Ali, leaving three Lt-Generals in the race to take over from Chief of General Staff Gen Jeremiah Kianga.
Ali was seen as the possible successor to Kianga, who retires early next year.
His exit now leaves Vice-Chief of General Staff Lt-Gen Julius Karangi, Army Commander Lt Gen Jackson Tuwei and Commandant of National Defence College Lt-Gen Jones Mutwii as possible military chiefs.
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The meeting to retire Ali was held at the Department of Defence headquarters under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Yusuf Hajji, who represented the President.
Another meeting, usually known as Number 1 Board, is slated for November and is the one that will decide who succeeds Kianga.
As is the military tradition, the Number II Board of the Armed Forces, comprising the three Service Commanders (Army, Air Force and Navy), meet and make recommendations for appointments, promotions, postings and retirement of officers above the rank of a Major. They then prepare minutes for the Number I Board meeting, usually chaired by Chief of General Staff and attended by the three Service Commanders.
It is after the Number I Board meeting that the Defence Council sits. The meetings are attended by the Minister for Defence, who represents the President, Defence Permanent Secretary, Chief of General Staff, Vice-CGS and Service Commanders.
The council, through the Defence Minister, is then expected to forward names to the President for endorsement.
The meeting last Wednesday saw a number of senior officers retired, promoted and appointed to various positions.
Those promoted include Deputy Air force Commander Brig Jackson Waweru, who was made a Major-General and posted to the National Defence Council to replace Maj-Gen Njeru, who was retired.
Brig Kyaka, who is in UN Peace Keeping Mission, was promoted to the rank of Major-General to replace Maj-Gen Walugu, who was the Assistant Chief of General Staff in charge of operations at the Department of Defence headquarters.
Maj-Gen PJ Opiyo of Western Command was retired, as was Maj-Gen Walugu of DoD headquarters.
Ali, now Maj-Gen (Rtd) was appointed Post Master General two weeks ago.
His exit from the military was widely expected as most commanders were reported to be having reservations on his possible return to the institution after being seconded to the police for six years.
Some of them had argued he had been adulterated and politicised by virtue of his position as Commissioner of Police, a political appointment.