James Mwaniki Thathi, A senior police officer who was captured on camera beating up Nairobi County’s Mlango Kubwa MCA Hon Patricia Mutheu Musyimi on Tuesday is in a total stranger having been fired in 2015, his return to the service is a puzzle to many.
It is understood that the General Service Unit (GSU) officer was sacked while leading a crack team during September 23, 2013, Westgate Mall attack by Al-Shabaab militants.
Back then he held the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police. The position was among several senior police ranks scrapped in October 2014.
Mwaniki was among the first top officers to respond to the attack and learnt of his dismissal dated September 3, 2013, while helping in the operation to neutralize the terrorists.
In the dismissal letter, his seniors accused him of indiscipline and drunkenness that were said to affect his performance. Mwaniki, however, moved to court and was reinstated in late 2014.
In an order issued by the Industrial Court on October 17, 2014, the court ruled that he was “unprocedural and wrongfully” removed from service.
The reinstatement letter was backdated to September 3, 2013, the same day his dismissal letter was signed.“Please inform Mr. James Mwaniki That S/ACP that he has been reinstated into service with effect from 3/9/2013,” the letter signed by K.S. Kitoo on behalf of the Deputy Inspector- General Grace Kaindi read.
In May 2016, Mwaniki found himself in trouble again after he was listed among 14 senior police officers sacked after fresh vetting.The officers were among 63 found unsuitable to serve in the police service after the first round of vetting of those in their cohort.
The National Police Service Commission said Out of the 63, all except one, applied for a review. The Commission admitted 36 requests for review and rejected 26. Out of the 36 admitted requests, the commission reinstated 23 officers.
Mwaniki was not among the reinstated officers and therefore his service is in dispute. He is said to have been among officers who responded to the Tuesday standoff at city hall where MCAs attempted to serve Speaker Beatrice Elachi with an impeachment motion.
In photos and videos that have gone viral on social media, four policemen one said to be Mwaniki were captured descending on Musyimi with rungus, blows, and kicks as she begged them to stop.
The Mlango Kubwa ward representative sustained injuries on her arms and back and was admitted to the Nairobi Women’s Hospital. The MCA wants the cops who assaulted her dismissed from the service.
Investigations into the assault led by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) are ongoing.
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