, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 22 – Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali has been retired from the military, barely weeks after he was demoted from Police Commissioner to Postmaster General.
Sources privy to a Defense Council meeting held last Wednesday told Capital News that Maj Gen Ali will no longer draw salaries, allowances and other emoluments from the Department of Defense (DoD) which was his principal employer.
He now becomes Maj Gen (rtd) following the key resolutions presented to President Mwai Kibaki who is the military’s Commander-In-Chief.
Impeccable sources aware of the resolutions and its implications said the former decorated military pilot was among about ten senior officers who have been retired due to age or other factors in line with the army resolutions.
“Those were the resolutions and we understand they have been ratified by the Commander-in-Chief,” a source within the Department of Defense (DoD) who can not be named because he is not authorised to speak to the press on official matters said.
Maj Gen (rtd) Ali served as Police Commissioner until two weeks ago when President Kibaki re-deployed him to the postal corporation.
He was named Postmaster General and replaced at the Kenya Police by Mathew Iteere who formally commanded the General Service Unit (GSU).
Other resolutions reached by the Defense Council, our source said, include promotion or retiring of Vice Chief of General Staff Julius Karangi.
“Two proposals had been given but we understand he has been retained,” the source added.
Lt-Gen Karangi will continue serving as the Vice CGS and is seen as the possible successor to the current CGS General Jeremiah Kianga.
Military Spokesman Bogita Ongeri when reached on telephone said he “is not aware of the resolutions of the council and can not discuss them in the press.”
“It is not procedural to discuss resolutions of the council in the press. I am not aware of them,” he said.
Various reasons have been advanced on why the decision to retire Maj-Gen Ali, including a general feeling that he had been polarized by politics during his stint at the Kenya Police where he was subjected to thorough scrutiny by the public because of the office he held, according to sources in the security departments.
There was also a general feeling that Maj-Gen Ali has earned bad publicity both locally and internationally and may taint the image of the army if retained, particularly because of the perception the public has of him.
Maj-Gen Ali has been widely accused of having run a security department which has been blamed for omissions and commissions leading to the killing of some 1500 Kenyans who were either shot or hacked to death during the 2007 disputed Presidential Elections.
He has repeatedly defended himself against those accusations and even told a panel of investigators that probed the chaos that he ‘would employ the same strategy if there was a repeat of the chaos.’
The remark angered one of the three commissioners who told a local TV channel that; "the only wise thing the commissioner of police would have done is to resign."
Sources said the Wednesday meeting has also recommended that if Lt-Gen Karangi can not be named the Chief of General Staff (CGS) to succeed Gen Jeremiah Kianga, then he should be retired from the army.