NAIROBI, November 12 – He lives a quiet life, maintaining such a low public profile that many confess they do not know who the Administration Police (AP) Commandant is.
Kinuthia Mbugua is unlike the Police Commissioner Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali, who is seen addressing media conferences and playing active roles in other public functions.
The few who have interacted with him confess that he is a workaholic. He arrives in the office at 6 am and leaves late, well after working hours.
Mr Mbugua sits on the seventh floor of Harambee House, the heart of the country’s administrative and security organ.
The building also houses the President’s office and other key ministries that determine the day-to-day running of government affairs.
Mr Mbugua is in charge of a very sensitive docket as far as the country’s security is concerned, because administrative police officers are deployed to the grassroots.
Each remote village in the country has at least two or three officers attached to the local chiefs and their assistants.
“Before you get to a police station to report a lost chicken, you encounter our officers,” beams Mr Mbugua who explains that the AP deployment strategy sees its presence and lawful operations extend beyond the lowest echelons of administration at the sub-location level.
“This deployment is aimed at ensuring that security services are accessible to all irrespective of geographical locations,” he says adding that there are chances of one meeting an AP ‘at every point you turn’.
Mr Mbugua is a member of the National Security Intelligence committee, which draws members from the Police Force, the military and the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS).
Appointed on August 27, 2003 for a five-year term, Mr Mbugua is clearly a man serving his last days in office.
The Waki Commission into post election violence condemned the administrative and regular police departments over their handling of countrywide skirmishes earlier in the year.
The commission has recommended the abolition of the AP department, which would see its officers absorbed into a single police unit under the police commissioner.
However, in his testimony to the commission, Mr Mbugua said his officers deserved a pat on the back for the role they played in quelling the violence that claimed the lives of a reported 1500 people and displacement of 350,000 others.
“We played our part and I can tell you my officers were professional. They upheld the ethics and conducted their job with diligence. The situation could have been worse if they did not act,” he said.
The AP Commandant says his department has made numerous achievements in the past five years.
“We have almost doubled the recruitment. We want to increase our numbers to meet the required ratio. That is why we now recruit members of the National Youth Service whom we train further to join the administration Police,” he said.
“We have greatly contributed to the reduction of crime in the country,” he added. “As the Administration Police, we appreciate the dynamism of the society and the constant changing trends in the world all of which have a direct and indirect security requirement.”
Mr Mbugua said his department fully embraces the Police Reforms Programme, whose underlying objective is to enhance service delivery by the Police Service, which is aimed at improving security in the country.
“In responding to this, the Administration Police takes cognizance of the various actors, stakeholders and strategies all of which are geared towards achieving a common denominator – security.”