Details have emerged of high drama that unfolded at the Vigilance House police headquarters on Thursday evening, as former Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Grace Kaindi declined to vacate her office.
Inside sources at the headquarters reveal it was an embarrassing scene as Kaindi apparently defied her boss, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, who arrived at Kaindi’s office at about 7pm to try to persuade her to vacate for her successor Joel Kitili.
“Boinnet and Kitili entered Kaindi’s office and for almost two hours the three could be heard talking in loud tones from the corridors. The two men left at about 10pm leaving her still locked inside,” said the source. Kaindi is said to have left office at about 10.30pm and drove to her home with her entourage of security.
“She was in a combative mood, she was talking loudly to her bodyguards about her frustrations as they accompanied her to her official car,” said the source.
Earlier, before Boinnet arrived, the State House Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua had arrived and held a short meeting with Kaindi, in which she was understood to have demanded a letter from him directing her to report her new posting at Foreign Affairs as an ambassador without portfolio. She reportedly insisted she could only deal with her employer, the National Police Service Commission.
But overnight, her six bodyguards and two drivers were withdrawn as well as her official cars that were driven back to Vigilance, said the source.
In her office, immediately she left, an order was issued for door locks to be changed at night. Yesterday, Kitili, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nominee, gained entry into his new office without an official handing over.
Sources said the Boinnet-Kitili- Kaindi meeting erupted into an ugly shouting match several times, at one point the two men threatening to physically eject her from the office.
Drama had started at 9 am on Thursday, when Kitili, who before his elevation had been the GSU Commandant, reported to Vigilance House from Jogoo House to formally take over. Kaindi, according to sources, refused to vacate office saying she was duly in office as she had not received any letter terminating her five-year contract which should end in 2018.
She was said to have told Kinyua she never applied for an ambassadors’ job and demanded to be furnished with proper reasons informing her of the switch from DIG to Foreign Affairs.
“She told her bosses she had never applied for an ambassadorial position and wanted to know reasons behind her appointment,” said a senior police source, who witnessed the drama. After failing to take over from Kaindi, Kitili walked back to Jogoo House and at 11am he was back, where the two held lengthy talks.
Said a source: “At 4pm on Thursday, Kitili walked in again but Kaindi stood her ground prompting him to go and return later in the company of IG Boinnet who spent two hours persuading Kaindi to hand over.”
After giving her bosses a tough day’s work, Kaindi left office at 10.30 pm in her official Mercedes Benz car with one bodyguard and driver, followed by a chase car with four other bodyguards and a driver who also doubles up as a bodyguard.
Immediately after dropping Kaindi, the six bodyguards reportedly received signals instructing them to report back to Vigilance House. As the officers attached to Kaindi were being recalled, an operation was simultaneously taking place at Vigilance where all the locks to her office were changed and new keys handed to Kitili who reported to work Friday.
In backing the decision to retire Kaindi, President Uhuru and National Police Service Commission (NPSC) chairperson Johnstone Kavuludi cited her age as the basis of the changes. Kaindi is 60, which is the mandatory retirement age for civil servants.
Tracing Kaindi’s predicaments, an inside source intimated that her ouster had been long overdue given many accusations raised against her. The NPSC had instructed her to proceed on early retirement from October 15, but she contested the order, arguing that her term legally was to end in 2018.
Her bid to hold on suffered a major blow yesterday after a court declined to stop her replacement as Deputy Inspector-General of Police stating the decision to move her had already been made.
An activist, Zachary Onsongo, has since moved to court to challenge Kaindi’s ouster, arguing that despite reaching the retirement age, she enjoys security of tenure and should have serve her full term.
Kaindi’s dramatic exit has a precedent in an incident in 1977 when then Commissioner of Prisons Andrew Sakwa was sacked “in public interest” but declined to vacate his office. Officers from the General Service Unit (GSU) had to be sent to evict him.