Security incidents that rocked 2022

Forensic Laboratory at the Directorate of Criminal Investigation. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

We reflect on the year 2022, which was rocked with a lot of insecurity incidences that included cattle rustling, retrieval of bodies, daylight robbery and muggings. The police service was also blamed for escalating of extra judicial killings among other atrocities.

Being an election year, there was also a change of guard in various offices including the Office of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and Ministry of Interior Cabinet Secretary.

Late December 2022, the Inspector General of Police (IG) Japheth Koome led the police service in remembering 50 officers who were killed this year in line of duty as he defended the use of force by the armed security officers especially when in danger.

Koome's remarks were questioned by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority Chairperson Anne Makori who stated that it contradicts President William Ruto's stand on extra judicial killings by rogue police officers.

In November 19, 2022, the Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki announced plans by the government to arm chiefs and their assistants in a move aimed at curtailing the escalating insecurity incidents in some parts of the country.

On October 16, just a month after being sworn in, President William Ruto announced changes at the helm of the security docket and among the changes, was disbanding the Special Service Unit (SSU) under the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) after the unit was linked to various extra judicial killings.

In his first speech after taking over the Kenya Kwanza government, President Ruto directed the budget of the office of the Police Service to be moved to the IG's office unlike his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta whose office controlled the crucial budget.

Ruto defended the move saying it would ensure the independence of the IG's office.

At the same time, Ruto appointed former president Uhuru Kenyatta to head the peace mission by leading peace talks between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.

2022 will also be remembered for the retrieval of a total of 38 bodies from River Yala in Siaya County. It is believed the victims were killed elsewhere before their bodies were thrown into the river.

On September 27, the Head of State announced the resignation of Hillary Mutyambai from the Inspector General of Police post and his DCI counterpart George Kinoti.

It was during the same month that Japheth Koome was fronted by president Ruto to take over Mutyambai's position and subsequent vetting before announcing various changes in the security docket.

At the same time, the interior CS issued a stern warning to cattle rustlers who had been terrorizing locals in the Kerio Valley.

The ministry announced a dusk to dawn curfew in Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties. During the operation led by a multi-agency, over 100 people were arrested for being linked to the cattle rustling incidents.

Insecurity cases also rocked Turkana, Isiolo, Garissa, Wajir and Tana River counties.