Ex-police chief King’ori dies in city after illness

Monday, February 12th, 2024 09:36 | By
King’ori Mwangi served as a Provincial Police Officer in Mombasa, Nairobi and Western regions in the course of his career. PHOTO/PD Print

Former senior police officer Zachary Kingori Mwangi died yesterday at a Nairobi hospital where he was undergoing treatment.

“King’ori passed on this (yesterday) morning at a Nairobi hospital where he was receiving treatment. The family will update the public on the burial plans,” the family said in a statement.

The officer served in various capacities in the service including the police spokesperson; Provincial Police Officer in Nairobi, Mombasa and Western regions; Director of Operations at police headquarters; Principal assistant to the Deputy Inspector General of Kenya Police; and also the commandant, Kenya Police College Kiganjo.

Until around 2014, everything about Kingori’s career was swift, bright and promising. He was one of the most decorated officers and among the youngest officers to be in charge of a province, now referred to as region.

However, a number of incidents, some unsubstantiated, would later taint his erstwhile bright career. Sadly, the incidents happened when he was just a rank away to the highest office within the service.

The man who many believed would one day become the top police boss was in November 2019 removed from the National Police Service and posted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was replaced at Kiganjo by the current Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome.

Public service

He had started off well, even rising to the rank of a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in less than a decade, but his last three years in the public service were not the best, according to his closest colleagues.

In 2021, for example, the once powerful police boss and a female companion were almost lynched by boda boda riders after he was involved in an accident along Langata Road.

Police said he was driving on the wrong side of the road and they were saved by traffic police officers on patrol.

Kingori said he was trying to avoid a traffic snarl between Sunshine School and Carnivore Junction by driving on the wrong side of the road when he hit two pedestrians who were crossing the road.

“The two pedestrians dashed across the road, catching me off-guard. Nevertheless, I tried as much as possible to slam the brakes to avert what would have been a fatal crash,” he said.

Involved in accident

Flora Mwongeli, a police officer based in Langata, was on patrol said she noticed something was amiss and sped off following behind and on reaching Langata barracks area, she found the motor vehicle already cornered and the driver being subjected to beating.

Barely a month later, on August 30 2021, three thugs brazenly raided his Nyeri home and assaulted the housegirl before robbing them of valuables. During the 8-hour ordeal, the thugs also stole Kingori’s civilian firearm and seven rounds of ammunition.

In May 2005, Kingori found himself in a confusing situation when the former First Lady Lucy Kibaki stormed Nation Centre at night. Ms Kibaki had raided Nation protesting against a story they had published about her interrupting the function of the then World Bank country director Makhtar Diop.

Reports indicate Kingori, a retired Senior Assistant Inspector General (SAIG) died from complications related to a medical surgery. During his career, the exceptionally brilliant officer also had a fair share of his tribulations where he also rubbed many people the wrong way.

Kingori is said to have refused to withdraw police protection for Raila and his family after the disputed presidential elections, saying they were entitled to such, according to the law.

He had applied for the position of the Deputy Inspector General but his stint at the Coast came to haunt him. He was put to task over the drug cartel and some extrajudicial killings.

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