What you need to know:
- The world governing body named Police Commissioner Julius Kabiru as the best head of security in the WRC circuit because of effectiveness in managing the Safari Rally
- He presided over a slick, incident-free operation bringing together over 2,000 police officers assisted by 1,600 safety marshals
- Kabiru's team mapped and evaluated the entire WRC Safari Rally route to ensure watertight security
Security and safety are two important pillars of the World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally which passed the litmus test and got the nod from the International Motorsport Federation (FIA).
The world governing body named Police Commissioner Julius Kabiru as the best head of security in the WRC circuit because of effectiveness in managing the Safari Rally.
He presided over a slick, incident-free operation bringing together over 2,000 police officers assisted by 1,600 safety marshals.
"Kenya is secure,” said Kabiru who was seconded to the event by the government.
He was mandated to ensure that the WRC Safari Rally grows into Africa’s premier annual sporting event in a region that is usually on high alert because of threats from terror groups such as Al Shabaab which target big gatherings of people.
Kabiru did not earn the FIA distinction by default after being appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the patron of the WRC Safari Rally, to safeguard the legacy of the event.
The President played a central role in ensuring that the Safari Rally returned to the FIA WRC calender after a 19-year hiatus.
Kabiru's team mapped and evaluated the entire WRC Safari Rally route to ensure watertight security.
His team was outstanding at the Wolf Power Stage at Hell's Gate, which was the climax of the 2022 WRC Safari Rally on June 26.
The 30-minute action was beamed live on global television reaching 78 million people and thrusting Kenya in the limelight.
Over 10,000 people jammed Hells Gate and it took the careful planning by Kabiru’s team and for the rally cars to make a 10 kilometres detour through Ol Karia Geothermal before joining Moi South Road to ease management of spectators. Traffic officers manned the highways round the clock.
Kabiru’s team together with with security officers from Nakuru County were able to avert a gridlock as it happened last year.
Kabiru said his team worked for a year, mapping out the rally route especially remore parts such as Kedong, Loldia and Soysambu Conservancy, and Naivasha town.
He said the team in conjunction with the WRC Safari Rally secretariat created a route from the Wildlife Research and Training Centre to the old Nairobi/Naivasha road to avoid disrupting business in Naivasha.
The team has already began preparations for next year’s WRC Safari Rally.
“We depend on the goodwill of locals. I thank them and the Naivasha business community as there were no reported cases of violence," said Kabiru.