In Summary
  • We’re still waiting for forensic reports from Israel and FBI, says Uhuru’s spokesman
  • At the centre of the public fury were Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces General Julius Karangi, then National Intelligence Service Director-General Michael Gichangi, Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku.
  • Mr Lenku dismissed claims that the operation at Westgate was botched, saying Kenya received a seal of approval from “knowledgeable security chiefs worldwide”.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s promise to set up a commission of inquiry into the Westgate attack was shelved after he was advised it could expose sensitive details and lead to the passing of a no-confidence vote in security chiefs in the middle of anti-terror war, the Sunday Nation has learnt.

At the centre of the public fury were Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces General Julius Karangi, then National Intelligence Service Director-General Michael Gichangi, Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku.

Mr Lenku in particular came under fire for the lack of clarity, consistency and coherence in the information he released to the public during the siege.

Mr Gichangi was blamed for NIS’s failure to provide operable intelligence before the attack, while Gen Karangi and Mr Kimaiyo have been criticised for failing to properly coordinate the fight and rescue operation at the mall that involved police and KDF.

According to a legal expert who spoke on condition of anonymity, the fact that the outcome of such an inquiry must be tabled in Parliament, according to the Constitution, would remove control from the President’s hands.

Public sessions, including the grilling of security chiefs during the inquiry, were said to have caused consternation among some senior officials. Such reports have previously been shelved without consequence if they were deemed unfavourable. 

Weeks after the attack, Attorney-General Githu Muigai stressed the President’s commitment when he told a global audience that an inquiry would be carried out to ascertain what went wrong at Westgate. But he said it was important to wait for the results of forensic investigations and other reports.

“It will happen because we are committed to that. There was a parliamentary inquiry, we thought it should wind up first, and there were criminal inquiries by the Kenya criminal investigations department and other friendly investigation agencies assisting us. We thought all this should go first and they should form part of the material we use in the commission of inquiry,” Prof Muigai told France 24 station.

FORENSIC REPORTS

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