How Move Towards Raila Odinga Ruined Thriving Career of Top Cop


    /Photos Courtesy

    On August 30, two audacious woe-begottens forcibly entered the rural home of a senior police officer in Nyeri town and stole valuables of unknown value.

    The robbers reportedly held the house help, identified as Jane Njoki, hostage and tied her legs with a rope. The thieves ransacked the house for 8 hours, meticulously packing valuables into luggage bags. They also broke into a safe and made away with a pistol and ammunition.

    Earlier that month, the same cop narrowly escaped Harambee justice after knocking down two pedestrians at the Carnivore junction

    Flora Mwongeli, a police officer based in Langata, was on patrol when she saw a vehicle speeding on the wrong side of the road with a dozen motorbikes hot in its wake, according to a police report seen by Citizen Digital.

    “She noticed something was amiss and sped off following behind and on reaching Langata barracks area, she found the motor vehicle already cornered and the driver being subjected to beating,” the police report explained. 

    She intervened whereupon she discovered two people, a man, and a woman who had been cornered by the boda boda riders. The driver was being beaten. 

    But just who is the officer in question?

    He was cut out from his peers right from the cradle of his career.

    While the rest got the badge by sheer aligned dental formulae, ability to dash like a deer, height, and of course bribes- Zachary King’ori Mwangi joined Kiganjo Police Training College with a first-class Honours degree

    No mean feat given that the Kenyan Police Service is thronged by mere Secondary school leavers, mostly who have not impressed enough for courses that indulge more intellectual rigor.

    It thus goes without the piper’s tune that King’ori stood out like a Phoenix among a flock of Sparrows. And soar he did, with natural leadership skills and intelligence as the wind beneath his wings.

    “By 2001, everyone knew King’ori would at one point be at the helm of the police force. He was one of the smartest and effective cops. He delivered on every assignment and was loved by the chain and command in the police force,” a  high senior ranking officer told Nairobian’s David Odongo

    “If you came up for promotion and King’ori was also on the list, you knew he would be picked first. The bosses loved him.”

    An exceptionally brilliant man, King’ori broke records with the police, taking only nine years from a civilian to gazetted officer (senior superintendent). He was at the top of his class in every police course.

    “At 37 he was PPO in the Nairobi area, a position usually reserved for cops who are in their 50s, while his deputy was 15 years older than him. He is one of the youngest ever PPOs in the service and is rated amongst the best when it comes to strategy and operations. However, he was ‘played by his people at the OP and police service who were uncomfortable with him,” adds the same sources, quoted as a retired officer

    The Raila Factor

    In 2013, he refused to indulge the State in petty politics when he refused to withdraw police protection for Raila and Ida Odinga after the disputed presidential elections. 

    “The law required Raila and his family to be protected, and he refused, so the Office of the President decided to cut him down to size,” the source adds

    During the vetting in November 2012 to pick Kenya’s first deputy Inspector General, his tenure at the Coast was put under scrutiny. But unabashed, he retorted at the panel

    “I have worked in Mombasa and I know there are two kinds of politics there. Kuna siasa ya ushoga na siasa za unga (gay politics and drugs). I was not in any of them,” said King’ori.

    A strict, no-nonsense cop, King’ori is only one rank away from holding the coveted Inspector General of the Police position. But those around him aver that he prefers to hold his ambitions close to his heart, and brushes away the question, even with aggression bordering on anger anytime he is asked.

    “He is a very generous man, even to strangers, and people around him always take advantage of his generosity.  He is a suave businessman, but his juniors tend to fear him because he is very strict and has no time for excuses. 

    King’ori Mwangi, a top gun for whom the sky was the limit in law enforcement, is currently attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs — pushing paper. One of Kenya’s most decorated police officers having his shine dimmed for doing the right thing and following the Law absolutely does rank as one of the biggest absurdities of our times.