How Kibaki personally intervened to save Kinoti in 2006
In 2006, the late former President Mwai Kibaki was informed by the then Internal Security minister the late John Michuki that George Kinoti had resigned from the police service.
Though the Police Service Act stipulated that a resignation by any officer should not be rejected under whatever circumstance, President Kibaki, broke all the protocol and directed that Kinoti, then the personal assistant to former Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director Joseph Kamau, be reinstated because of the “good work he was doing” for Kenyans.
“It took all the senior officers, including the then Commissioner of Police Major General (rtd) Mohamed Hussein Ali as it was unprecedented.
"The President had never ordered the reinstatement of any officer who had resigned before,” recalls Dave Mwangi, then Permanent Secretary in charge of Provincial Administration and Internal Security.
And because it was a presidential directive, Mwangi says, nobody could ignore and all that was to be done was to reject Kinoti's resignation and reinstate him immediately.
The late Michuki had known Kinoti following his appointment as the head of the Kanga Squad that was tasked with ending armed and organised crime.
He was overseeing both investigations and operations both as the lead investigator and operations commander.
Between 2004 and 2005, strange murders were reported in Ngong and its environs. Kinoti and his team were tasked with hunting down the gang, a task they completed in less than two months.
Kibaki on Kinoti's sensitive assignments
Kinoti’s team had also, in 2004, been involved in the investigation and subsequent prosecution of suspects who had on August 11, 2004, attacked Prof Ngugi wa Thiongo and his wife at the Norlfolk Apartments.
The three suspects; Elias Sikuku Wanjala, Peter Mutati Wafula, and Richard Kayago Maeti, were convicted in 2006 and sentenced to death.
At the time, Kinoti was celebrated for his ruthless no-nonsense approach to tackling criminals and bringing them to justice.
As Personal Assistant to Kamau, Kinoti was also overseeing investigations and operations at Mazingira House serving as the lead investigator and Operations Commander.
President Kibaki was made aware of some of these sensitive assignments and when he learnt that the man behind it, Kinoti, had resigned he was unequivocal and directed that he be reinstated and his woes be brought to an end.
Frustrated Kinoti resigned
It would later emerge that when Kinoti, then a Superintendent of Police, was attending spinal injury assessment clinical services and physiotherapy, he was transferred without his knowledge and later threatened with disciplinary action for failing to report to his new station.
Following the frustrations, Kinoti resigned in a huff, within 24 hours, and attached a cheque of an amount equivalent to his one-month salary after he was transferred from the CID headquarters to Migori.
The late Michuki learnt of the resignation during the 7:00 pm news and he called Kinoti and directed him not to leave the service.
After learning of the issues that prompted the resignation, Michuki decided to consult President Kibaki.
It was on a Friday evening and the following day, Kinoti was informed that President Kibaki had declined his resignation. Kinoti was then recalled and redeployed at the Complaints Section, police headquarters.
Kibaki summoned Kinoti to State House
The following day, a Saturday, Kinoti was called to State House, where the president himself declined his resignation and ordered his reinstatement.
“The crime rates were very high and the government was concerned. Given the role Kinoti’s team had been doing, the ministry top officials sought to establish why he resigned in a huff,” a former Harambee House senior official said.
It was established that a plot had been hatched to kick him out of the office or be sacked.
“How we operated did not please some of the senior officers. We learnt that he had been accused of many things and even received warning letters to show cause why he should not be removed from the service,” a retired DCI officer said.
“Kinoti was also accused of failing to proceed on transfer, something he was not aware of as he was recuperating at home after a near-fatal shootout with armed robbers along Jogoo road,” the officer added.
Yesterday, Kinoti declined to discuss the incident, only retorting: “I owe my rise to become the Director of Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to the late (Kibaki). Were it not for him, today I would be a civilian doing other things.”