Nairobi News

NewsWhat's Hot

Police boss Kaindi in the line of fire for slow response to Garissa Terrorist attack

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Grace Kaindi could be one of the first casualties of the fallout from the April 2 Garissa University College attack in which 142 students and six other people were killed by Al-Shabaab terrorists.

Despite maintaining a low profile, Ms Kaindi is arguably one of the most powerful members of the security services with the main rapid response units charged with handling emergencies falling under her direct command.

The police structure created by the Constitution installs an Inspector-General in the overall post with a Deputy Inspector-General in charge of the Administration Police, a post held by Mr Samuel Arachi, and another in charge of the Kenya Police Service held by Mrs Kaindi.

Ms Kaindi’s position puts her in direct charge of virtually all the vital branches of the police force.

These include the regular police, the General Service Unit, the police air wing, the Anti-Stock Theft Unit, maritime police, the tourism police team, and others such as the police dog unit.

The early inquest into the shocking security failures in Garissa has seen a number of senior officers come forward to complain of a difficult working relationship with Ms Kaindi, which has paralysed decision making and lengthened response times.


Asked about it, Mrs Kaindi said: “Please ask the inspector-general, he will clarify for you.”

While Mr Arachi is said to enjoy a cordial relationship with other officers, Ms Kaindi has been accused of being abrasive and not a team player.

Sources indicate that some within the executive are determined to push for the deputy IG’s removal.

But under the terms of the law, removing a deputy Inspector-General of Police is a tall order.

A petition needs to be presented to the National Police Service Commission upon which a committee would be formed to investigate the complaint.

If such a move is made, it would be the first time that a constitutionally protected official of the police service would face ouster through such a method.

Ms Kaindi is coming under particular pressure because the law makes it clear that she is in effective command of the operations of the police force.

While the Inspector-General is the overall commander, the teams that are supposed to be first responders in case of a terrorist attack, including the GSU and the Police Air Wing, are under Ms Kaindi’s docket.


Ms Kaindi’s roles are defined by the National Police Service Act which states she is “responsible for the effective and efficient day to day administration and operations of the Kenya Police Service”.

It also says that police posts and unit bases are under her determination and watch.

A security expert told the Sunday Nation that by the time the IG got involved in the operation, the DIG should have been providing a brief on the progress, including determining the elite commando Recce squadron’s response.

The Recce team had been mobilised from as early as 6 a.m. but was only sent to the scene in the afternoon.

In addition to the regular police units, Ms Kaindi is in charge of all county and regional commanders who are often relied upon to offer early situation assessment results to authorities in Nairobi.

The police service, which is regularly ranked as the least trusted and most corrupt institution in Kenya, has endured bad publicity in recent weeks as senior police officers have offered incredible tales of how they amassed millions of shillings while holding their offices.