Uhuru Kenyatta asked David Kimaiyo to step down

What you need to know:

  • Sources in the security sector, who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, said Mr Kenyatta had become increasingly concerned about reports of serious differences between Mr Kimaiyo and his two deputies, Ms Grace Kaindi (in charge of regular police) and Mr Samuel Arachi (in charge of Administration Police) which were adversely affecting the fight against insecurity.
  • The President did not make any reference to Mr Lenku in his statement, only stating that he had nominated Kajiado Central MP Joseph Nkaissery as the new Cabinet Secretary for Interior.

President Kenyatta Tuesday sacked Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku and Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo amid national outrage over deteriorating security in the country.

The sacking, announced by Mr Kenyatta in a live broadcast to the nation from State House, came hours after suspected Al-Shabaab militants struck in the restive Mandera county, killing 36 quarry workers, all non-locals, at dawn Tuesday.

The President, while making the announcement, explained that he had held a meeting with Mr Kimaiyo earlier in the day during which he (Mr Kimaiyo) had offered to retire.

However, sources close to the Presidency revealed that Mr Kenyatta had asked Mr Kimaiyo to step down to save him the rigorous process of complying with the provisions of the Constitution to remove him from office.

The Constitution states that the President can only remove the Inspector-General from office on the grounds of serious violation of the law, including contravention of Chapter Six, gross misconduct, physical or mental incapacity to discharge his duties, incompetence or bankruptcy.

The President did not make any reference to Mr Lenku in his statement, only stating that he had nominated Kajiado Central MP Joseph Nkaissery as the new Cabinet Secretary for Interior.

FROM KAJIADO COUNTY

“I hope the National Assembly will expedite the process of his vetting and approval,” he stated.

Both Mr Lenku and Maj-Gen (rtd) Nkaissery are from Kajiado County. Mr Nkaissery will, however, have to resign from Parliament before he can assume his new position, if approved by MPs.

Unlike the hiring and firing of the IG, the Constitution grants the President powers to nominate and remove a Cabinet Secretary.

It was not immediately clear whether Mr Lenku had been assigned new roles. He was said to have reported to his office at Harambee House early yesterday and left for State House to attend a scheduled Cabinet meeting, but did not show up in the afternoon.

Sources in the security sector, who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, said Mr Kenyatta had become increasingly concerned about reports of serious differences between Mr Kimaiyo and his two deputies, Ms Grace Kaindi (in charge of regular police) and Mr Samuel Arachi (in charge of Administration Police) which were adversely affecting the fight against insecurity.

By nominating Mr Nkaissery to replace Mr Lenku, Mr Kenyatta continued to militarise the security sector, having previously appointed Maj-Gen (rtd) Philip Wachira Kameru to head the National Intelligence Service and Maj-Gen (rtd) Gordon Kihalangwa to head the Immigration department.

Mr Kenyatta, who started his address by declaring that Kenya was at “war” with an enemy hiding behind religion, defended the deployment of Kenyan troops in Somalia in 2011.

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