Sunday, 14 November 2010

KWS's Kipngetich lobbying for police job

The overbearingly proud man in charge of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Julius Kangogo Kipngetich, is desperately lobbying for two positions - that of the to be renamed/restructured Inspector General of Police, and that of the permanent secretary in the office of the president (and also the head of civil service and secretary to the cabinet).

Some people in Prime Minister Raila's Office have told him that he will get one of the positions. In the past, he lobbied for the latter's position, still being held by Francis Muthaura, some while ago, but  painfully failed. Now, it is understood that Muthaura is leaving soon, and his position is up for replacement.

Kipngetich is convinced that he will get either of the positions. When I was in Kericho last week, I met a friend who works with President Kibaki's office in Nairobi. He told me of the story but I was not keen on hearing the details. Now this weekend, I heard similar details.

Kipngetich has many fiends in government. When he took over the running of KWS, he told his friends that he will ensure that meritocracy will define his tenure. Now, he is bored with what he has been doing and has said he wants new challenge.

It may be difficult for President Kibaki to name his as Muthaura's replacement. Reason, at the height of the 2005 referendum on proposed new constitution, he publicly opposed President Kibaki's decision to hand over Amboseli National Park to Kajiado County Council.

Thrusting the issue to the limelight, on 11 October, a court reversed the president's order to downgrade the Amboseli National Park to a game reserve. In light of this, the president will unlikely hire such an independent minded-person.

That means, Kipngetich will have to contend with fight for the position of Inspector General of Police, which can be taken by a civilian, courtesy of the new constitution. Since Kibaki will still be around until 2012, and since the police were implicated in the 2008 violence, giving out this position to a non-police career person may be a hard one for politicians to gamble with, when ICC is on Kenya case.

Kipngetich's pride comes from seeing his rise to major positions without political godfathers, like others, but know, he has realized how politics underpin appointments to political positions.

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