, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 10 – The National Assembly has approved the nomination of Major-General Philip Kameru as the Director General of the National Intelligence Service and that of 25 nominees to serve in various ambassadorial postings.
In a special sitting held on Wednesday, legislators urged the incoming spy chief to use experience as the head of military intelligence, to transform the country’s spy agency.
House Majority Leader Aden Duale and Minority Deputy Leader Jakoyo Midiwo said he will be expected clean up the image of NIS which appeared to involve itself in political games at the expense of securing the nation.
“In the past few months, the perception of the NIS in the eyes of the public has been waiting, we expect Major-General Wachira (Kameru) to bring a fundamental changes to that institution. NIS must end this obsession of following politicians around.”
Midiwo added: “NIS is generally known to be a political force. Personally I don’t regret the departure of the old head, and welcome this one and I hope he will act differently because I know the role of NIS in elections.”
The NIS and other security agencies have been on the spot following terrorist attacks in various parts of the country, starting with the Westgate Mall attack in September last year to the recent Lamu attacks, where security officers were accused of laxity.
Major-General Kameru’s nomination follows last month’s resignation of Major-General (Rtd) Michael Gichangi.
In supporting his appointment, Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations chairman Ndung’u Gethenji said Major-General Kameru who is the current Director of Military Intelligence exhibited impressive knowledge of topical issues touching on the national intelligence docket.
MPs who contributed to debate said they were convinced Major-General Kameru was the man for the job as he had pledged to provide timely and well thought out intelligence information to aid in reversing youth radicalisation.
During his approval hearing held last Tuesday, the Director of Military Intelligence pledged to fight terrorism and to obey the law in the course of his duty and also vowed to revamp the NIS into an effective outfit that will firmly deal with the emerging global challenges.
MPs later adopted a report on the presidential nominees to serve in ambassadorial positions but with a section of MPs expressing their reservations on the age, competence and academic qualifications of some of the nominees.
Debate on the 25 nominees was disrupted following differences among the committee members.
Drama began when Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa alleged the committee team chairman had misrepresented his views on various candidates which in he had a dissenting opinion.
But in a swift rejoinder, Gethenji, his deputy Bare Shill and Eldas MP Adan Keynan accused Wamalwa of misleading the House on the deliberations of the committee during the approval hearings.
They said that Wamalwa was notorious for supporting a report at the committee stage but would give a different position on the floor of the House.
House Speaker Justin Muturi however rejected calls from the MPs to refer Wamalwa’s name to the House Power and Privileges Committee so that he can be disciplined because of discrepancies in the record-keeping of committee minutes that made it difficult to ascertain the true position.
The list of nominees will now be forwarded to President Uhuru Kenyatta for formal appointment and gazettement.