What you need to know:
- Prominent among them is the director in charge of Internal Intelligence, Mr Francis Mwongo, who literally deputised for Maj-Gen Gichangi, representing him in high-level meetings when he was away.
- According to security officials, the spymasters in NIS were overlooked because they were largely seen as Maj-Gen Gichangi’s “apologists,” keen to maintain the status quo at a time the Jubilee Government wants to revamp the service.
The nomination of Maj-Gen Philip Kameru, a military man, to head the National Intelligence Service has shattered the hopes of officers in the unit who wanted the spy chief’s post filled from within.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, in so doing, overlooked eight lieutenants of retired Maj-Gen Michael Gichangi, who resigned from NIS last week.
The directors are in charge of key organs that constitute the NIS and report to the Director-General.
Prominent among them is the director in charge of Internal Intelligence, Mr Francis Mwongo, who literally deputised for Maj-Gen Gichangi, representing him in high-level meetings when he was away.
Others are Mr Chris Mburu (external intelligence), Mr Alexander Muteshi (analysis and production), Major Raphael Kosen (information technology), Mr Joseph Kamau (operations), Major Mativo (National Intelligence Academy), Mr Moses Tenai (counter-intelligence) and Mr Samuel Otieno (administration).
Maj-Gen Kameru, the director of Military Intelligence, will take over at NIS — which got a budgetary allocation of Sh13 billion in the 2012 Financial Year — once he is vetted and endorsed by Parliament.
According to security officials, the spymasters in NIS were overlooked because they were largely seen as Maj-Gen Gichangi’s “apologists,” keen to maintain the status quo at a time the Jubilee government wants to revamp the service.
They are also viewed as beneficiaries of a purge Maj-Gen Gichangi made soon after he was appointed Director-General of the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS), the predecessor of NIS, in 2006.
Once in charge, Maj-Gen Gichangi picked Mr Mwongo, who had served in Kenya’s Mission in Stockholm, Sweden, to replace Mr Musikiti Kusimba.
Mr Alexander Onyolo, who was in charge of external intelligence, was replaced by Mr Mburu while Mr John Sergon was replaced from Information Communication Technology by Maj (rtd) Kosen.
FROSTY WORKING RELATIONS
Mr Jimmy Mumina, who was in charge of economic affairs at the time, went to court to challenge Maj-Gen Gichangi’s decision to oust him.
President Kenyatta followed the footsteps of his predecessors, who also preferred military generals to head the civilian intelligence outfit.
Brigadier (rtd) Wilson Boinett was in charge during the Moi era. His predecessors were Mr William Kivuvani and Mr James Kanyotu.
The security officials added that the trend was bad for the NIS since it would demoralise dedicated officers who hoped to rise to the head of the outfit
The International Criminal Court question, frosty working relations with Chief of Defence Forces General Karangi and failure by the NIS to forestall terrorism attacks have been cited as what led to Maj-Gen Gichangi’s exit.
President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are facing charges at the ICC and it’s thought much of the evidence the court’s prosecutor is relying on came from the Waki Commission, which in turn had received the information from the NIS.