In Summary
  • The paratrooper had express instructions to fight escalating crime perpetrated by militia groups and initiate reforms in the force that had lost much credibility in the eyes of the public.
  • He served for six years under one of the most tumultuous periods in the history of Kenya.

Mohamed Hussein Ali became the first outsider ever to be appointed police commissioner.

Ali was a brigadier in the army and his appointment raised questions as to whether President Mwai Kibaki was trying to militarise the police force.

The paratrooper had express instructions to fight escalating crime perpetrated by militia groups and initiate reforms in the force that had lost much credibility in the eyes of the public.

Taking over from Edwin Nyaseda, Brig Ali — who was appointed together with Joseph Kamau as director of CID — had his work cut out for him.

He served for six years under one of the most tumultuous periods in the history of Kenya.

A statement from the Presidential Press Service stated that “These changes are aimed at injecting new blood into the leadership of the police, giving a new approach in the management of security in the country. Furthermore, the changes are expected to bring into the police force new energy to carry out reforms.”

It continued, “Besides the above changes, a technical committee to oversee reforms in the police has been set up immediately.”

PROMOTED TO MAJOR GENERAL

Ali was promoted to Major General soon after his secondment to the police force as the government emphasised that it anticipated that the reforms he was to spearhead would bring a lasting solution to the insecurity problem in Kenya.

True to his word, his no-nonsense style greatly reduced the crime rate. He is remembered for setting up special police squads that hunted down and killed members of the Mungiki sect.

Maj-Gen Ali had to fight off numerous local and international human rights reports, including that of the UN Special Rapporteur, Prof Philip Alston, which demanded his resignation over the extra-judicial killings.

Prior to this, Ali had come to the limelight over alleged human rights abuses in Mt Elgon, where the police were fighting an insurgency over land  started in 2006 by a militia group known as the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF).

The police were accused of using excessive force and targeting the innocent.

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