Nairobi, Nakuru get new police bosses in changes

The new Nakuru County Police Commander Peter Mwanzo.[ Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Nairobi County now has a new police boss.

James Mugera, who has been the deputy county police boss on Monday took over the command as the Regional Commander.

His elevation came days after he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in the latest senior police promotions.

He takes over from Augustine Nthumbi, who was made to take leave following the bungled police operations at the Mukuru Kwa Njenga slums last December.

Mugera was among a dozen police officers who were promoted.

Other senior officers who were promoted include National Police Service Spokesman Bruno Shioso (AIG), and Railways DCI boss Dr Wanderi Mwangi.

Nairobi Regional DCI boss Paul Wachira has also been elevated to the rank of Commissioner of Police.

Paul Mumo, the DCI head of Crime Intelligence and Research Bureau (CRIB), DCI head of investigations John Gachomo, Margaret Karanja of DCI Forensics department and Central Region Police boss Manasseh Musyoka have all been promoted to the rank of AIG in the changes announced last Friday.

Also promoted in changes by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i is Kasarani OCPD Peter Mwanzo who has been transferred to head Nakuru as the new County Commander. He will replace Beatrice Kiraguri.

“We shall deploy unprecedented fire and force on Nakuru gangs. Let no one come to lecture me on human rights. Where were you when the people were being killed? We will not surrender any part of our lives. Anyone who is supporting them, harbouring them, financing them shall be treated as part of the criminals,” Matiang’i said on the rising insecurity in the county.

Focus is now on Mugera who takes over the police leadership at a time when the country is headed to a General Election.

Nairobi County has been identified as one of the violence hotspots in the period before and after the August 9 elections.

The fate of Nthumbi and another senior officer who were made to take leave remains unclear.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i who spoke about the bungled police operation blamed the police for the manner in which they handled the Mukuru Kwa Njenga evictions.

 The CS said security officers who were involved in the operation will now be made to account for their actions.

“We have to strike a balance between court orders and the rights of the people. Those (officers) will be called to account” Matiang’i said.

Separately, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai confirmed to The Standard that two senior police commanders in Nairobi and a member of the provincial administration, who were part of the Mukuru demolition operation had been sent on forced leave.

He (IG) however declined to comment on what action the Government intended to take on the said individuals.