Kenya: Why Kinoti Had to Disband Flying Squad

Complaints by Kenyans and foreigners living in Kenya against flying squad officers in Nairobi, this week saw the unit that was formed in 1992 disbanded.

It has also emerged that Flying Squad boss Musa Yego will be retiring before the end of the year, making age another factor that led to the disbanding of the unit that had its headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi County.

Nairobi News can reveal that the plan to disband the unit kicked off while Joseph Boinnet was still at the helm of the service after his office received complaints of how officers in the unit were operating.

A source privy to the ongoing changes said the complaints filed against the unit were too grave and were escalating despite consistent warnings sent to the officers.

"The complaints are part of the reason it was decided that the unit which is based in Nairobi is disbanded. This is because there was proof that some of the officers within the unit had gone rogue and were involved in crime," said the officer.

SUB-UNITS

In 2018, DCI boss George Kinoti disbanded all the flying squad sub-units within the country and issued orders that all officers hand over any police property that was in their possession.

In the fresh orders issued this week, Mr Kinoti said that no officer will ever present themselves as working with the flying squad unit.

"The Directorate of Criminal Investigations wishes to inform the public that after disbanding all the Flying Squad Sub-units within the country, only the Headquarters Unit based in Nairobi remained. With effect from today, the unit has equally been disbanded. This marks the end of the Flying Squad Unit and no officer will present himself or herself to the public as such," the DCI said in a statement on Monday.

Our source further revealed that rogue police officers have been operating within the city while passing themselves off as flying squad officers.

Nairobi News went through several witness statements issued whenever police officers are arrested while committing crimes and it has emerged that most of them have been operating as Flying squad officers.

It has also emerged that some regular officers had the blessings of rogue flying squad officers and were jointly causing mayhem within the city.

For instance, the recent arrest of police officers attached to Kayole police station who were involved in Sh6 million robbery in Nairobi's Eastleigh estate- the victim told the police that part of the officers had introduced themselves as flying squad officers.

ROT WITHIN THE UNIT

The arrest of Mr Simon Mwaniki Festus 34, who was also part of the officers in the Eastleigh exposed the rot within the unit.

Police say, Mwaniki was always seen at the Flying Squad Headquarters and also worked together with the officers in the unit.

"He was on several occasions involved in the unit's operations within the city, for instance when three Mali nationals were arrested with fake dollars in Westlands, he was there," the senior officer said.

It is worth noting that Mr Mwaniki had a separate criminal case in the Limuru law courts where he is accused to have robbed a Chinese national Sh2.7 million along the Nakuru- Nairobi highway.

Just like Mr Mwaniki, another officer Kelvin Ndosi who has been linked to several robberies within the city has been presenting himself as a flying squad officer.

A witness statement over an incident in which he kidnapped a man in Athi River revealed that Ndosi had introduced himself as a flying squad officer before it turned out that he was a wanted criminal.

The flying squad was an admired unit within the police service because the officers seem to be favoured in away.

They do not have a limit on the number of firearms they carry, do not dress in uniform and can have any haircuts including dreadlocks.

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