Gichangi stays on as spy chief

January 21, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – The Director General of the National Security Intelligence Service Major General Michael Gichangi has been re-appointed for another five-year term.

The appointment by President Mwai Kibaki was gazetted on Friday ending speculation over his tenure at the spy agency.

"In exercise of the powers conferred by section 6(1) of the National Security Intelligence Service Act, I Mwai Kibaki, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya appoint Maj General Michael Gichangi to Director General of the National Security Intelligence Service for a period of five (5) years with effect from January 15, 2011," the gazette notice states.

There has been speculation over his possible re-appointment following claims that evidence given by the intelligence agency to the Waki commission may have led to the incrimination of key government officials.

Among those the ICC wants to indict are the Head of the Public Service Francis Muthaura and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.  Others are Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey, William Ruto of Eldoret North, Post Master General Maj-Gen (rtd) Hussein Ali and Kass FM radio presenter Joshua arap Sang.

Among those who have served as intelligence chiefs in Kenya are the late James Kanyotu and Brigadier (rtd) Wilson Boinett.

The agency will be known as the National Intelligence Service under the new Constitution once Parliament enacts legislation to govern its functions, organisation and administration, along with other security organs that include the Kenya Defence Forces and the National Police Service.

The National Intelligence Service will be responsible for security intelligence and counter intelligence to enhance national security in accordance with the Constitution.

In the past, it was known as the Special Branch.

Major General Gichangi took over from Brigadier (rtd) Boinett on January 20, 2006 when he also held the rank of Brigadier.

He was formerly director of the National Counter-Terrorism Centre and had a career in the Kenya Air Force, since 1977.

The NSIS Director General is a key advisor to the President on matters of national security.

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