Chill at Vigilance over Waki

October 23, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, October 23 – Tension has gripped the Police department following an imminent reshuffle in line with the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Post-election Violence (CIPEV), headed by Justice Philip Waki.

High-ranking officers led by the Commissioner of Police Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali have been holding meetings to discuss the report, which squarely criticised them for inefficiency and accused them of failing to strategise for the elections.

Sources at Police headquarters told Capital News that the police chief was  laying a strategy on how to defend his department.

Capital News has also learnt that Major General Ali last week held three meetings with senior officers close to him seeking their advice on how to handle the situation, which is likely to send many of the top cops home.

“It is a serious crisis. The Commissioner has become too humbled and spends much time consulting those close to him,” the source said.

Capital News independently established that the Office of the President was already working on a comprehensive overhaul of the senior management in the force, which may include retiring officers who are near the mandatory retirement age.

In the new changes, at least four Provincial Police Officers could be sent home from where they will be required to assist further investigations recommended against them or other key political, government and business leaders named in Waki’s secret list of violence perpetrators.

The report released last week by the Waki commission and subsequently handed over to the former United Nations chief Dr Kofi Annan recommends an overhaul of the top leadership in key security organs, including the police and Administration departments.

“There is need for a comprehensive reform of the Kenya Police Service and Administration Police and it should be undertaken immediately,” the report states.

The reforms, the report adds, will involve a complete audit of the current police management, structures, policies, practices and procedures.

Those facing an imminent reshuffle in the force include the police chief, his deputy Lawrence Mwadime, Criminal Investigations Director Karanja Gatiba, Operations chief Peter Kavila and all the eight Provincial Police chiefs and formation commanders who were overseeing the security operations before, during and after the 2007 General Elections.

The report particularly indicts the police chief for having ignored advice from the National Security Inteligence Service (NSIS), which sent him and other security agencies elaborate briefs before the elections.

Intelligence Concerning Post-Election Violence and Its Use

The Waki report states that the police were adequately informed by the NSIS, the Provincial Security and Intelligence Committee (PSIC), and the District Security and Intelligence Committee (DSIC) about all the trouble spots and even named some of the perpetrators.

“Each contributed intelligence information concerning security
in Kenya before, during, and after the election,” the report states.

“Before the election, the NSIS correctly analyzed the forces at work in the country and said that in the case of either a Mwai Kibaki or Raila Odinga loss there was a strong possibility of post election violence, the worst case scenario being if the ODM candidate lost.”

As early as three months before the elections, the report adds, the NSIS warned in its Situation Report of 25 September 2007, that “in parts of Uasi Ngishu, tension is brewing between the Kalenjin, the Kikuyu and the Kisii following the Mugirango skirmishes with some Kalenjin tribesmen terming the two communities their political enemies and threatening to evict them.”

It added however, with some premonition “violence could engulf different parts of the country if cases of incitement are not legally addressed as they emerge.”

In spite of these incidents, Waki concludes, it is not apparent that either administrative officials or police refined their intelligence as a result, nor apparently was there any sense of the unexpected impending disaster to follow.

Findings of the Waki commission of inquiry further state that allegations of laxity and failure to apprehend attackers caught in the act were made which suggested to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) that police were “overwhelmed, did not want to stop the violence or were under orders not to do so.”

These are just some of the findings that have sent shivers in the spines of senior police officers at Vigilance House and high ranks at the Provincial level.

“We can not be blamed at all, our role is to restore peace and that is what we did. We are not politicians and therefore could not have engaged in politics,” a senior officer said.


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