Uhuru entrusts key jobs to former military and intelligence officers

By Star

Twalib Mbarak

President Uhuru Kenyatta is increasingly entrusting key positions in government to former military chiefs or intelligence officers as he shapes his legacy of war on corruption.

The President, it appears, believes the military discipline and the knowledge and insight of intelligence officers could help him deliver.

The latest is the nomination of Twalib Mbarak – a trained military intelligence officer – as the CEO of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

The EACC on Thursday submitted to Parliament for approval the name of the KenGen security and integrity manager to succeed Halakhe Waqo, whose term has ended.

Mbarak beat 13 other candidate in the race to head the agency.

With Jubilee having a majority in the National Assembly, Mbarak’s nomination is likely to be approved when his name is tabled in the House for vetting.

The Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, chaired by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo, will vet the nominee once Parliament resumes from its long recess in February.

The Standing Orders however allow the Speaker to forward the name to the committee for vetting, even when the House is on recess.

Should Mbarak get the House’s approval, he will join a list of former intelligence and military officers who have been appointed by the President to head critical agencies.

At the then National Security and Intelligence Service, Mbarak served as a senior intelligence analyst before being deployed to head the National Intelligence Academy research department.

Uhuru appointed top intelligence officer Noordin Haji as the Director of Public Prosecutions. He was serving as Deputy Director of Counter Organised Crime at the National Intelligence Service.

Haji replaced Keriako Tobiko, who was appointed Environment CS. Haji’s appointment breathed a new lease of life into the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. A number of high-profile personalities have been taken to court for various offences.

In December 2014, Uhuru appointed Joseph Boinnet as Inspector General of Police. Previously, Boinnet had served as an Assistant Intelligence Principal Officer.

In July this year, Uhuru appointed NIS director of counter-terrorism Alexander Muteshi as the head of immigration. The department is critical as it deals with issuance of passports and controls the entry of foreigners into the country.

Muteshi replaced Gordon Kihalangwa, an ex-senior military officer who was appointed as Principal Secretary at the department of Immigration.

On November 19 this year, Uhuru said he tasked Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe to chair the Blue Economy Committee as he could not entrust the position to his Cabinet secretaries.

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