At first glance, Mr Hilary Mutyambai, the nominee for the position of the country’s top cop, is your ordinary, soft-spoken man, who listens more than he speaks.
But the name of the career police officer-turned-spy, who has kept his life private, elicits admiration in counter violent extremism circles, owing to his achievements.
Mr Mutyambai coordinated security forces in the rescue operation following the Dusit D2 complex terrorist attack.
He joined the Kenya Police Service in 1998 as a corporal, and rose through the ranks at the National Intelligence Service (NIS), where he is currently the deputy director, Counter Terrorism Intelligence.
“He is a witty man who acts diplomatically. He knows what he does and does what he knows,” is all a colleague could share about the all-rounder, who has been working closely with the National Police Service, (NPS) the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and military intelligence in mounting intricate counter-terrorism operations.
President Kenyatta, in an executive order released by State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena on Wednesday, nominated Mr Mutyambai in accordance with Article 245 (2) (a) of the Constitution.
Now, as the law stipulates, Mr Mutyambai’s nomination will be approved or rejected by Parliament after vetting by the National Assembly’s Administration and National Security Committee.
The National Police Service Commission Act requires the National Assembly to approve or reject the nominee for the position of IG within 21 days from the date the Speaker makes the announcement.
The IG designate holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nairobi and a Master of Arts degree in national security policy from the Australian National University, which his predecessor, Mr Joseph Boinnet, also attended.
A profile seen by the Nation containing his achievements indicates that Mr Mutyambai has undergone specialised training in counter-terrorism in New Orleans, in the United States, operational management in the United Kingdom, advanced security analysis in the US, and policing, intelligence and counter terrorism in Israel.
It says that Mr Mutyambai, who comes from Mwala, Machakos County, also served as Kenya’s political attaché in Uganda from 2000 to 2004.
If he succeeds, Mr Mutyambai will enter an office whose in-tray is full of tasks pertaining to security sector reforms, counter terrorism, police welfare, transnational crimes and vetting of civilian firearm holders, among others.
He will be expected to implement pending structural changes in the police service, including the appointment of the new ward commanders. He will also oversee the work of the recently appointed regional commanders,
But he will also be closely watched by human rights groups, which have persistently accused the police of extrajudicial executions, harassment and abuse of power.
The New IG will be expected to implement pending structural changes in the police service including the appointment of new Ward Commanders. He will also oversee the work of the recently appointed Regional Commanders, County Commanders and Sub County Commanders that saw the removal of the Officer In Charge of Station (OCPD) positions scrapped.
Mr Mutyambai’s most challenging task will be to fight corruption among police officers- which has been blamed for impeding the fight against crime.
He will also be expected to oversee the implementation of the structural and organisational changes announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta last year, that saw the partial merger of the Administration Police Service and the Kenya Police Service.
The IGP will also be on the radar of human rights groups who have constantly accused the police of extrajudicial executions, harassment and misuse of power.
Since he will serve for four years, he will oversee the 2022 General Elections and ensure that he maintains order and calm before, during and after.
He will work closely with the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), the National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons (KNFP), the Regional Centre for Small Arms (RECSA), the National Crime Research Centre (NCRC), the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) among others.