Tears, cheers and jeers of top Police bosses since independence

Bernard Hinga 1964–1978

Hinga was sacked by President Moi after he succeeded Mzee Jomo Kenyatta in 1978. He was the police boss during the infamous change the constitution campaign by Central Province leaders opposed to Moi succeeding Kenyatta. Was close to the infamous Kiambu mafia and was the police boss when Pio Gama Pinto, Tom Mboya and J.M Kariuki were assassinated.

He oversaw the investigation into the 1970 attempted coup on
President Kenyatta’s government that consumed the careers of then Army General Joseph Ndolo and Chief Justice Maluki Kitili Mwendwa. Yatta Mp Mutiso was also jailed over the conspiracy.

Ben Gethi 1978–1982

He met his waterloo after he was accused of being sympathetic to the 1982 failed Kenya Airforce mutiny against President Moi’s Government.

He was considered, correctly or otherwise to have been close to Major Gen Kariuki, then the commandant of the Airfare.

Bernard Njinu 1982–1988.-Served for six years. Was said to have been close to the dreaded Rift Valley mafia, coalescing around power man Nicholas Biwott. He was however swamped by the then powerful Special Branch, which hunted down those opposed to Moi’s style of leadership as they were aptly labeled as Mwakenya sympathizers. When Central Kenya leading political lights such as Kenneth Matiba and Charles Rubia started their second liberalization after the queue voting election in 1988, it was unfathomable to trust a Kikuyu at the helm at Vigilance House. And so Njinu was sacked.

Phillip Kilonzo 1988–1993– Rewarded for his role in ruthlessly dealing with University of Nairobi Students as they joined the clamor for change. Incidentally, his own Children, Vincent Mule Kilonzo, and Yatta Mp Charles Kilonzo were among the students who faced the Kilonzo big stick.

It was during his tenure that most of the detention without trial were escalated. His biggest challenge was the disappearance and murder of Cabinet Minister Robert Ouko. Kilonzo was sacked in 1993, and appointed the Chairman of the Cotton Lint and Marketting Board. He died in 1997 under mysterious circumstances at his Matuu Dallas bar, Machakos County after consuming a white cap beer. Those close to him say he wanted to contest for the Yatta seat, ironically dominated by his son Charles Kilonzo.

Shedrack Kiruki 1993–1996-A lukewarm, board again police commander.

He was sacked alongside frank Kwinga, the Immigration boss after dissident Ocallan found his way to Kenya.

Duncan Wachira 1996–1998-Served for two years. But was punched along with other security officers after Terrorists hit the US Embassy in Nairobi’s Haile Sellasie Avenue during which many people lost their lives

Philemon Abong’o 1998–2002– After the 1997 election, Raila Odinga, then NDP Party leader signed a pact with KANU in a bid to aid voting in Parliament. Abong’o was rewarded with the plum job as part of the deal sweeter. However, when Kibaki become President in 2002, Abong’o was shown the door as he was considered to suffer from KANU hangover.

Edwin Nyaseda 2002–2003-Served for one year. Crime soared during the period and was aptly sacked, becoming the shortest serving police commissioner.

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Major General Hussein Ali-Served between 2004 to 2009. During his tenure, he sacked 54 officers in one go, sending shock waves to the entire police force. After that, crime drastically went down, and discipline within the force improved tremendously. Although initially there was resistance from the rank and file, he managed to streamline the operations of the then much maligned force.
He was heading well to retirement when the unthinkable happened: He along head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, Joshua Sang, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenya, William Ruto and Henry Kosgey were named as ICC suspects by Moreno Ocampo. Later, he was acquitted, but aptly said he would never wish than an enemy stand trial for any crime outside his motherland.

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Mathew Iteere

He oversaw the transition from the old to the new constitution.

Then he retired alongside Attorney General Amos wako, Chief Justice Gicheru and other state officers who jobs were collapsed by the new constitution.

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David Mwole Kimaiyo-

He Was the first Inspector General of Police.

A trained and no nonsense commando, Kimaiyo entered office with pomp and expectation.

But terror attacks in various parts of the country did him in despite tacit support from President Kenyatta and DP William Ruto.

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Joseph Kipchirchir Boinett– President Uhuru Kenyatta plucked the affable Boinnet, who exhibits a polite and harmless demeanor from the National Intelligence Service (NIS).