By NLM Writer
After one of his infamous tussles – involving Tatu City – with the publisher of this magazine, former Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro once remarked to this writer – at a press conference at the DCI headquarters where half of his speech and question time was done in his native tongue – “nyinyi hamnijui”. That was along the very cold – literally too – and therefore intimidating corridors at the second floor of Mazingira House, just outside the press room.
Because of the prevailing hostility towards a bold media and the Nairobi Law Monthly in particular, and the very real realisation of what the man was – perhaps still is – utterly capable of, I shot a quick text to a colleague at the NLM and a friend at Nation to relay that threat – in the event I didn’t make it to the exit at the ground floor. Of course, as I would later learn, cops are as afraid of journalists as much as journalists are of them. The crown does however fall on the latter, given that journalists do not boast the means or wherewithal to track (human) targets, often on the whim of raw vendetta and in the shameless pursuit of dirty wealth, and the dominance it promises. As history never tires of demonstrating, this series seldom ends well, for the ‘prey’ at least.
The removal of Ndegwa Muhoro from the helm of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) may have come as a surprise to outsiders but not so to those who worked with him closely.
Muhoro was fired on the basis of a confidential report by the intelligence chief that he poses threat to national security, according to our source at Mazingira House. His many, many corrupt dealings, threats to those he could threaten, and terror to those he could terrorise became his colleagues, seniors and government could no longer stomach.
Even after serving the Jubilee regime to silence its critics through frequent and stage-managed arrests, detentions and bogus court appearances with no iota of evidence, confidential intelligence briefs on him had made his continued stay at DCI untenable, according to multiple sources.
Muhoro was redeployed back to the National Police Service Commission “for further re-deployment” and his place at DCI taken over by George Kinoti. According to police insiders the redeployment of Mr Muhoro to the NPSC was a courteous way of saying that he had been sacked.
“After serving as the head of DCI, one can only go up to become the Inspector General of Police. Now for him that wasn’t the case. The question then is, what job can NPSC give him unless he is being demoted?” an intelligence source posed.
Apparently, the intelligence briefs had detailed alleged acts of highhandedness and mismanagement of the directorate which lost its credibility in the eyes of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The briefs had raised questions about his sudden wealth which spans transport logistics, aviation, real estate and oil businesses. Further, there had been concerns within high places that he had turned the DCI into a tool for harassing and rewarding critics and business accomplices in equal measure.
Under his tenure, many big fish who were suspected of corruption were controversially cleared. At other times, the investigations dragged on for years until the public lost interest in it. The National Youth Service (NYS), Tatu City and Afya House scandals, the cold blood murders of former Kabete MP George Muchai, businessman Jacob Juma and former IEBC ICT manager Chris Msando, among others, are some of the big cases whose trail has just gone cold. In others, Muhoro’s thugs picked random people from the street and charged them for crimes they have no idea about.
His obsession with land is legendary. According to a source at the DCI, Muhoro dedicated more than half of the Directorate’s budget towards investigating expired land leases, which he then either directly grabbed often by hounding their owners out, or facilitated their grabbing – said to be through working with rich but greedy people like himself.
His long stay at the helm of DCI was marked with extra judicial killings. ^