Take us back to the beginning of your career as a police officer?
Since I had uncles who were at that time in the military and I used to admire them in uniform, I opted to join the Police in 1984 as a cadet Inspector. I was posted to Murang’a, then moved to Ol Kalao Police Station as Deputy Officer Commanding Police Station (OCS) in January 1986. After about four months, I took the job as acting officer in charge at Kipipiri Police Station.
And when did you join the Intelligence?
I worked in the then Directorate of Security Intelligence (DSI), under Special Branch. I worked in several Police divisions in Central Province and Nairobi Province and Directorate of Security Intelligence headquarters. I then underwent several training programmes and rose to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in 1995. I also served in Rome at the Kenyan embassy in various positions.
How did you join the Intelligence?
In 1999, all of us in the DSI were asked to apply for positions in the then newly created NSIS. I was successful. Between 2001 and 2004, I was at the then NSIS headquarters as an Assistant Intelligence Principle Officer. In December 2004, I was posted to Zimbabwe as a First Secretary but returned to NSIS in 2009. In 2012, I was redeployed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Deputy Director Foreign Service in the protocol directorate.
Tell us more about your education background
I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from Washington University. In 2002, I went to London for a Masters degree in Diplomatic Studies. Last year, I went to Australian National University (ANU) where I did another Masters degree in National Security Policy. Between enlistment in 1984 and today, I have done numerous professional courses on security and strategic management.
But your credentials have been questioned. What do you have to say about such allegations, especially the credibility of your first degree?
I have clearly indicated the institutions I attended and this speaks for itself. Those who have doubts can confirm from these schools and institutions of higher learning. I have no doubt whatsoever about my capabilities, particularly in regard to the latest degree programme that I did in Australia. The degree is mounted by the national security college, which is a joint partnership between the Commonwealth government of Australia and the university to train high level security professionals. It is equivalent to NDU in Washington and NDC here.
What do you think are key challenges the nation is facing in terms of security and how will you address them if confirmed?
I will address those issues at the right time and in the right forum. I, however, ask Kenyans to watch the vetting sessions so that they can get to know what I consider to be serious threats to national security that need to be addressed urgently, and how I will deal with them. This will certainly be from a policing perspective. National security is a partnership between everybody who lives in this country; both the service provider and the client.
What would be some of the challenges that you foresee if tasked with this new role?
The challenge I am likely to face is being pulled out from the shadows to the limelight. But I am ready because the intelligence world obligates you to be a social animal without everybody necessarily knowing what you do. When I was at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I worked with senior military officers…I am essentially a policeman who has been on a tour of duty in other places, and now returning to what I used to do. I understand police culture, intelligence culture and what our military stands for and how they would want people they collaborate with to conduct themselves. For me, working with them will not be a problem because I understand their culture. It will be very easy because this has been part of my life.
If confirmed, Kenyans expect so much from you given the state of security in the country right now. Indulge us into your strategy for the sector.
Kenyans have every right to have elevated expectations because there is a government in place that they voted for based on their manifesto. Every appointee should deliver on the mandate of appointing authorities. Kenyans should expect change in policing. It will be business unusual. I am promising policing in a manner that Kenyans and the police officers will be happy with.
The fact that former intelligence director Brig (Rtd) Wilson Boinett is your uncle has also sparked controversy. What do you say about that?
That is not true. To start with, he is my uncle whom I have tremendous respect for owing to his exemplary service to this nation. But it is not true that he has influenced my so called rapid rise in the service. When he was appointed as Director of intelligence in 1995, I was already a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP). He worked as our boss from 1995 to 2006 when he retired. I served as an Assistant Intelligence Principle Officer from 1999 to 2006, when he left and he did not give me a promotion. The only promotion I got was in 2008 when I became a Principle Intelligence Officer (PIO) and last year when I was promoted as an assistant director of Intelligence.
Would you say you are a junior officer as argued by some individuals who have contested your nomination?
The accusation that I am a junior fellow is unfair. By 1995 when I was an SSP, very few of the senior police officers holding very senior ranks were anywhere near that role. At my current rank of assistant director, I am only one rank away from being Director General of NIS. I am just one step and I was aspiring to get there. How then can I be a junior officer?
What would you say about allegations that your nomination was politically motivated bearing in mind that you come from the same county with former IG David Kimaiyo?
I don’t think I was nominated to replace Kimaiyo because I come from same county. I think the President nominated me based of the attributes in me that he found fitting for that position. Kimaiyo had his own experiences in public life and I have mine, and we don’t share them at all. He is his own man, I am my own man. I have followed a totally different career. As to whether the President was pressured by leaders from my county, I do not know. However, I have respect for our leaders and appreciate the support they voiced after my nomination.