Parliament approves Noordin Haji's nomination as NIS boss

National Assembly approves Noordin Haji's nomination as NIS Director-General. [File, Standard]

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji is a step closer to taking up his new role as National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director General.

On Tuesday, MPs endorsed a report by the National Assembly Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee that recommended Haji's appointment. 

The committee led by Belgut MP Nelson Koech noted that the DPP was a person of integrity, having been cleared by statutory bodies.

They dismissed petitions that had raised reservations about Haji's integrity in his tenure as DPP.

Four people opposed Haji's nomination as NIS boss, citing his withdrawal of high-profile cases involving allies of President William Ruto in recent months.   

Mr Koech defended the committee's decision, saying: "Many people at the NIS find Mr Noordin Haji as a natural fit because he has worked there. They have had a Director General brought in from the police or other security agencies. Now they have one of their own."

"The nominated officer is a distinguished officer who has served in the service well... this is an institution that must be headed by a person with experience, knowledge and temerity required for the job and no one fits better than Haji," said Minority Whip Junet Mohamed.

Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wa urged Haji to avoid being used to settle political scores. "The office of the DG of NIS is the repository of our national security," Ichung'wa said, cautioning against intelligence lapses such as those that resulted in the Shakahola massacre.

Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi supported Haji's nomination as a spymaster, urging him to prioritise the security of the nation. 

"I want the incoming DG to live true to the oath he will be taking... This House appropriates colossal amounts of money to the NIS for the sole purpose of capacitating the institution to execute its mandate," Wandayi said.

In a report tabled before Parliament on Tuesday, June 10, the House committee dismissed all complaints against the outgoing DPP saying the appointment had met the required threshold and was also in accordance with the law.

“That the procedure used to arrive at the nominee accords with Section 7 (2) of the National Intelligence Service Act (No. 28 of 2012) which provides that the President shall nominate a person for appointment as the Director-General and submit the name of the nominee to the National Assembly," the report said. 

It added: “Indeed the President on Thursday, May 18, 2023, communicated the name of the nominee for appointment to the position of Director-General of the NIS to the Speaker for approval by the National Assembly."  

The committee also argued that Haji is eligible for appointment as a State officer and has the required education. 

“The nominee has held the following positions: Director of Public Prosecutions (March 2018 to date), Deputy Director of Counter Organized Crime at the NIS (June 2016 to 2017); Deputy Director of Administration in the Internal Division of the NIS (January 2015 to June 2023),” the committee said further it its report.

Haji's name will now be forwarded to President Ruto for gazettement. 

Once gazetted, he will replace outgoing NIS boss Phillip Kamweru.

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