In a huge case of irony, a fierce defender of the government who was dismissing claims from an elected Orange Democratic Movement party member that a revamped Special Service Unit (SSU) has been put in place to replace the Kinoti squad, found himself admitting this in not so many words.
It all started by a tweet from Kileleshwa Ward Member of County Assembly Robert Alai who claimed that not only had the SSU been resurrected, but it now had 30 members and headed by a man called Kariuki. His tweet read,
A new SSU with 30 officers headed by a Mr. Kariuki is already in place. Officers mainly drawn from GSU
This elicited a quick and sharp response from a ferocious government defender who bashed Alai for insensitivity due to his position in society as a leader. Annan said Alai was incapable of empathy since he is a mheshimiwa who doesn’t face the constant threat of being hijacked. He then proceeded to reveal that the new SSU actually has a hundred members and not thirty. His tweet read,
Replying to @RobertAlai
We need it bro. Just because you are an MCA driving a lucrative vehicle which can’t be hijacked we in Demios and probox are suffering. Nenda kaskilie vibaya uko chini ya makende ya Raila umbwa hii… We are suffering actually the squad has 100 officers.
It has long been claimed that the disbanded Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI’s) Special Service Unit (SSU) had been a team that was relied on to solve complicated crimes.
They were allegedly relied on to respond to any murder incident involving violent criminals on the run or unsolved issues and even terrorism.
It was a revamped team from an earlier one that was referred to as Special Crimes Prevention Unit (SCPU), which was reorganized in 2019 by former DCI George Kinoti.
Most officers now serving in the disbanded unit had served in SCPU and the defunct Flying Squad for years.
They were mainly involved in quelling the Mungiki menace from 2007 until 2019 when they were reorganized.
It was disbanded last month.
The disappearance of two Indians and their driver on July 24, 2022, seems to have led to action on SSU.
All officers at the SSU were subsequently disarmed and recalled to DCI Headquarters for further instructions.
They are now under probe over the issue.
There have been suspicions that police are involved in the deaths and human rights activists have demanded an investigation.
President William Ruto said he gave the go-ahead for the move. He said the unit had been linked to extra-judicial killings signalling there are more changes coming.
“Mimi mwenyere niliamuru kuvunjwa kwa hicho kikosi sijui Special what (I ordered the disbandment of the unit). Our people were being found murdered and their bodies dumped in River Yala and other places. That is the sort of history we want to forget as a nation,” the President said.
The main functions of the DCI include collection and provision of criminal intelligence, investigations on serious crimes including homicides, narcotics, money laundering and economic crimes, maintaining of law and order and detection and prevention of crime.
They also apprehend offenders, maintain criminal records, coordinate country Interpol Affairs, and carry out investigations of matters that may be referred to it by the Independent Police Oversight Authority.
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