Soldier Boy Who Played At Cops And Robbers Now In Big Trouble
Also published earlier today: Taabu on Prof Alston and the bankrupt Kenyan psyche
The man has a rather dry, sardonic sense of humour that was very clearly displayed in a memorable press conference the day before Mwai Kibaki stole the elections in full view of TV cameras and the world in late 2007 (many are the times when he cracks a joke and laughs first a mischievous chuckle that would be more appropriate to a comedian rather than a law enforcement officer. And more oftren than not nobody else in the room finds what he is saying funny).
Police commissioner Maj general Huseein Ali: Under his watch terrible, terrible things happened.
In retrospect that day Ali was cracking jokes at the media conferemnce, we were being prepared for the horrific events of the next day and police commissioner Maj general Hussein Ali was at the heart of the game plan. In fact over a year later it is now coming to light that those plans may have included the “extermination” of any pockets of resistance to the electoral theft according to the report by UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston.
Prof Alston has issued a bombshell of a report that just confirms a lot of what we told skeptical Kenyans in this blog about a year ago Read the full story. In fact I stand by the figures that I gave here then. That over 5,000 Kenyans have been killed by the police in the reign of terror overseen by police commissioner Ali.
For all intents and purposes it is now looking like Maj general Hussein Ali will be one of the first people to stand trial for his role in the failed presidential elections of 2007. Prof Alston has already asked the ICC (Hague) to take over the investigations into police brutality in Kenya and extra-judicial killings.
But even as we pass judgement of a man who has to go down in history as the most brutal police commissioner ever, it is important for Kenyans to understand the whole story behind this sad saga.
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The whole story, according to me, started long before the 2002 general elections. We were in a meeting at Ufungamano House. Present was at the meeting was Mwai Kibaki and a host of other NAK top brass. Kibaki repeated at that meeting what he had already said countless times before. That the problem of increased crime was one that was going to be tackled easily by budgeting for and employing more policemen.
Well we all know what happened. Kibaki did employ more policemen in 2003 but that did not solve the problem and his administration struggled with the problem of insecurity for a time. That was until they proudly announced the appointment of a soldier to the police commissioner’s post. Enter Maj general Hussein Ali (then a brigadier).
Ali’s strategy was simple, and I must admit, effective. The idea was to create killer squads and to hunt down suspected hardened criminals and simply mow them down in a hail of bullets. The only problem with this strategy is that along with the hardened criminals and scum of the earth were very innocent Kenyans whose only crime was that they were at the wrong place at tragically the wrong time.
When the Mungiki problem came (created and financed by politicians) Ali used the same tactics in a very vicious and bloody operation that left Kenyans numb with shock.
But Ali was not as smart as he always tried to portray himself in front of newsmen. It did not cross his mind that investigators from outside would ever start snooping into what the police were doing. He also did not realize the fact that it is impossible to wipe out all evidence when you are involved in mass murder.
The result is that even though the government seems to be defending Ali at the moment (or at least factions of it, because Prime Minister Raila Odinga, obviously thinks different from what he is saying) it is clearly only a matter of time before the soldier boy not only leaves office but also stands trial for his heinous acts.
Other effective ways of fighting crime other than mass murder need to be found. But the problem is that the old dinosaurs we have in office today cannot be expected to come up with new ideas or even to think out of the box.
Food for thought: NTV last night aired old footage of President Kibaki saying that criminals who killed others will also be killed and that “there is no other way.” This was early in his first (and only genuine) presidential term.
Related stories from the past:
Bad smells and why Ali should resign
What Ali did at the KICC at the height of election theft
An excuse for Ali's actions?