Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i has made changes in the Firearms Licensing Board by naming a new chairman and secretary.
In a notice dated February 7, the CS named Maj-Gen (Rtd) Charles Mwanzia as the chairman of the board replacing Maj Gen (Rtd) Enoch Sasia.
The CS also named Nelson Munyi secretary of the board replacing Samuel Kimaru. Kimaru has been the secretary of the board by virtue of him being a police officer in charge of firearms bureau.
Kimaru will be recalled to police headquarters. Munyi was based at police headquarters.
It is not clear what prompted the changes of the officials who came to office in 2016 on a three-year term.
The board is also fighting cartels behind issuance of fake permits to civilians.
Police say there are dozens of civilians who are carrying fake licenses.
Gun holders usually go through rigorous process before they are issued with such a weapon. Before one is allowed to own a gun, he or she is supposed to apply through an OCS who forwards to the OCPD who convenes a meeting of the district intelligence and security officers for review before it is sent to the county commanders for approval.
A plan to recall all firearms owned by civilians for inspection after revelation of a criminal cartel that was supplying parallel licenses by manipulating the security system and bypassing rules failed to materialize.
Officials at the bureau say the cartels are powerful that they had resisted the planned changes for a better-managed system.
It has emerged that the ring would approach applicants and tell them government had placed a moratorium on all civilian licenses and the only option was one’s details to be sneaked in to the waiting list already in the system if they paid the “facilitation fee”.
Police too accuse gun dealers of refusing to cooperate with them in efforts to clean the mess in the management of the issue.
There are 10,000 licensed firearm holders in the country.