, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – Former Police Commissioner Maj Gen (Rtd) Hussein Ali has been accused of having issued numerous irregular orders when he headed the force, including the sacking of 57 senior police officers whom he sent home in 2004 soon after his appointment.
His then Principal Deputy Alice Kagunda (now retired) told a panel selecting members to the National Police Service Commission that Ali ordered her verbally to send home 57 senior police officers without giving any valid reason.
“I’ve no reasons as to why it was done but it was done,” she said as she told the panel the commissioner had ordered her to retire the 57 officers in public interest.
“In disciplined services you follow the order and that time there were no avenues to stand against the boss’s decision,” she said.
Kagunda admitted being the one who processed the sacking of some of the 57 officers who held senior ranks while others were processed by another senior police officer at Vigilance House.
One panel member Kipng’etich arap Tororei of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) asked her to prove that she will be independent if nominated to the police commission, having admitted that she used to obey illegal orders from her superior.
“These were orders from the boss, there is nothing I could do at all other than obey them the way I did as much as I did not find it procedural,” she explained.
“In fact I sympathised with some of the officers and I told them sorry. There was no due process and there was nothing I could do because the boss was new. Maybe somebody had a list somewhere and was using the new boss to get at people. It was not clear what they had done,” she said.
She said most of the officers sacked held ranks covered under the Public Service Commission (PSC) and not the Force Standing Orders (FSO). “That is why some of them appealed against the decision to sack them.”
When asked why she did not take it upon herself as the principal deputy to the commissioner to advice him, she said “I could not give him any advice because he once showed me an anonymous letter sent to him warning him not to take any advice from Alice. The letter was telling him that Alice could easily mislead him.”
The issue of the sacking of the 57 senior officers was among those outlined in petitions sent to the panel by unnamed police officers who feel Kagunda is not fit to be selected as a member of the police service commission.
One petition sent by an unnamed senior police officer accused Kagunda of being a “tribalist, has passion hatred for men, is arrogant and intimidating.”
When the allegations were put across to her, Kagunda who currently heads security at Essar Telecom defended herself saying she was always accommodating.
“The truth of the matter is that when I became senior, male officers felt threatened. All through, it was very hard working in a male dominated career. I know there are those male officers who complained that I was promoting women arbitrarily,” she said.
Kagunda is among 38 candidates interviewed by the panel since last week seeking to join the national police service commission which will be responsible in recruiting the Inspector General of Police, two deputies and a CID director.
The panel interviewing them includes chairman Festus Litiku, Ahmednassir Abdullahi of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Permanent Secretaries Mutea Iringo (Internal Security), Caroli Omondi (Prime Minister’s office), Paul Mwangi of the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission, Tororei of the KNCHR and Lydia Gachoe of the gender commission.