This morning, I want to talk about my friend Zachary King’ori Mwangi, who was the youngest Nairobi PPO at the age of 37. This story will shock Kenyans who believe that all it takes to join the Kenya Police Service is a set of good teeth Zachary King’ori Mwangi joined Kiganjo Police Training College with a first-class honors degree.
In a cohort that mainly consisted of primary and secondary school graduates, King’ori shone like a lone star on a dark night. A hard worker with natural leadership skills and intelligence to match, he clawed his way up the ranks — fast.
“By 2001, everyone knew King’ori would at one point be at the helm of the police force. He was one of the smartest and most effective cops.
He delivered on every assignment and was loved by the chain and command in the police force,” says a high senior ranking officer. “If you came up for promotion and King’ori was also on the list, you knew he would be picked first.
The bosses loved him.” An exceptionally brilliant man, King’ori broke records with the police, taking only nine years from a civilian to a gazetted officer (senior superintendent).
He was at the top of his class in every police course. “But things took a turn and his brightly shining star started dimming when he was sent to Mombasa as the provincial police boss in the mid-2000s.
Rubbed many people the wrong way “At 37 he was PPO in the Nairobi area, a position usually reserved for cops who are in their 50s, while his deputy was 15 years older than him.
He is one of the youngest-ever PPOs in the service and is rated amongst the best when it comes to strategy and operations.
However, he was ‘played by his people at the OP and police service who were uncomfortable with him,” our source, a retired top police officer reveals.
A stickler for the rule, King’ori rubbed many in the government the wrong way when, in 2013, he refused to withdraw police protection for Raila and Ida Odinga after the disputed presidential elections.
“The law required Raila and his family to be protected, and he refused, so the OP decided to cut him down to size,” our source adds. During the vetting on November 14 2012 to pick Kenya’s first deputy Inspector General, his stint at the coast came to haunt him.
Easily the best among the nine candidates who had been shortlisted for the job, King’ori had to explain to the commission allegations leveled against him. “I have worked in Mombasa and I know there are two kinds of politics there. Kuna siasa ya ushoga na siasa za unga (gay politics and drugs).
I was not in any of them,” said King’ori. King’ori Mwangi was then IG Kimaiyo’s deputy in charge of Police Reforms. hen a commissioner asked him about a block of the apartment he allegedly owned and an Sh6.5 billion drug heist, King’ori made the commissioners laugh when he retorted, “Why should I be asked a question about what happened in Kitale?
Why am I being asked questions about what happens at GSU headquarters? It’s like suggesting I want to be the Pope, yet I am not even Catholic. About the flat in Zimmerman, I don’t even have a relative there. If you think you are my tenant in Zimmerman, then don’t pay rent.”
He further added that there are allegations that he owns a fleet of trucks, prime land, and a beach hotel. “There is a businessman who is called King’ori and owns buildings which people always thought belonged to me. I don’t own the patent to the name King’ori.
I even called that businessman to confirm,” said King’ori Mwangi. The commission exonerated him after the allegations were unsubstantiated by the complainants. A strict, no-nonsense cop, King’ori is only one rank away from holding the coveted Inspector General of the Police position.
But a source close to him says he has never spoken about his ambitions, and brushes away the question, even with aggression bordering on anger anytime he is asked.