President William Ruto has nominated the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Noordin Haji, as the next director-general of the National Intelligence Service (NIS).
Mr Haji, a former top officer at the spy agency, will replace Major-General (Rtd) Philip Kameru if Parliament clears him. Maj-Gen Kameru has been the top spymaster since 2014 and is set to retire.
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“The President has, in accordance with Section 7(1) of the National Intelligence Service Act, nominated Mr Noordin Haji, CBS, for appointment as the Director-General of the National Intelligence Service,” reads a statement signed by the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Felix Koskei.
Mr Haji took over the position of DPP in March 2018 and had two more years to the end of his eight-year non-renewable tenure.
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His new appointment marks his return to the NIS, where he was the deputy director of the counter-organised crime unit.
Mr Haji, whose late father, Yusuf Haji, was a long-serving public officer and later Garissa Senator, is a law graduate of Wales College, Cardiff. He also holds a second master’s degree in national security policy from Australian National University.
He was admitted to the bar in 1999 and later joined the Attorney-General’s office as a state counsel.
Mr Haji will be vetted by the National Assembly and if approved, will be President Ruto’s chief adviser on national security and sit on the National Security Advisory Committee and the National Security Council.
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The outgoing NIS boss was the director of military intelligence in the Kenya Defence Forces before being tapped to head the national spy agency.
He succeeded Maj-Gen Michael Gichangi, who resigned citing personal reasons.
“Under Major-General Kameru’s watch, Kenya’s civilian intelligence agency has made monumental strides in the fight against terrorism, transnational crimes and other major threats to our national and regional security,” Mr Koskei said in the statement Tuesday.
The statement added that Kameru guided security assignments and multi-agency coordination that made the country and the region more secure.
Two major attacks – the Garissa University attack in April 2015, where a militant group stormed the institution and killed more than 150 people, mostly students, and Nairobi dusitD2 complex attack in January 2019, happened during Kameru’s tenure.
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