Major General Michael Gichangi: Head of the NSIS

“Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive” – William F. Buckley

I know the idealists are still talking about things like peace and justice and they’re all waiting for Kibaki to resign and all that, but I am going to move on from these pie in sky ideals because I’ve pretty much concluded that Kibaki will not resign until 2012.

The events in the Rift Valley that routed five hundred thousand people from their land within a matter of two days tells us that it was pre-planned. However, it also tells us something else: That there was a failure by the intelligence services. The head of Kenya’s intelligence services (The NSIS) is Major General Michael Gichangi. He should have known that an operation of this kind was being planned. The website says he was appointed in 2004. He’s been there 3 years, what has he been doing?

The NSIS website also says that the organiizations main objective is to : “to identify and report on threats to the security of the State”. It doesn’t say whether these threats are internal threats or external threats, but I’m going to assume that they are both. In light of this humongous intelligence failure, which has resulted in the death and displacement of thousands, I’m also going to assume that this man is probably on his way out (to be replaced of course with either a Kikuyu or a Mkamba).

How did he miss this?

And why would Kibaki make Saitoti the new minister of internal security? This guy doesn’t appear to be a hardcore politician like Michuki. Saitoti is a nerd! A former Math professor at the University of Nairobi who was ushered out of obscurity of the ivory tower and into the rough and tumble world of Kenyan politics. Does this man have the spine to be the minister of internal security?

22 comments for “Major General Michael Gichangi: Head of the NSIS

  1. geoffrey
    September 27, 2011 at 6:32 am

    the richest tribes in kenya are
    a kisii
    b indians
    c kikuyus
    d embu
    e meru
    f kenya somali

  2. think!
    September 30, 2010 at 7:24 am

    i think u r the lost busterds!

  3. Antion
    May 14, 2009 at 7:57 am

    how do you feel now after close to a year and realise that you contributed to thePEV by voting in these thugs they sponsored the violence and are now kiiling tou softly with hunger and desperation. Hope you areproud of beign kenyan

  4. Davie
    July 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Also remember that the western worlds are happier when you are not united because they will exploit you. They look at us as fools!’s. Let’s be smarter than that. Let’s be proud to be Kenyans and let us look at things from another dimension. The positive side of things. Let’s not attract native energies. We are above that. Each and everyone of us

  5. Davie
    July 18, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Am reading what you guys have written here and I can assure you what you’re saying from g is not what you need to be saying if we will expect to heal this nation and wounded hearts. People died! But remember that everyone is destined to die one day and when the time comes, you an never run away from it. Am truly sympathetic and have seen some those IDPs and actually to some extent, I saw guys evicted from our neighbourhood just because they are not Kyuks! It made me vary sad but this is what I have vowed to do. Put the past in the past and begin a new chapter of healing. Can we stop looking at each other as tribes and look at each other as Kenyans. Why are we so quick to criticize instead of being patriotic to our nation? We ought to defend the Kenyan flag regardless of what our inner feelings are. You ought to have a mind of your own and not to be influenced by others in making foolish decisions. Someone asks you to steal or kill and you just go ahead not reasoning to see that when s**t hits the fan, you’ll go down alone and the powerful people will stay up there and not feel what you’ll be feeling when you’re alone in that jail/cell.
    Let’s agree to work together to build Kenya. Let it be our aim to ensure that we leave this Kenya a better place than we found it because when we are gone, our kids will have a cause to enjoy and carry the mantle on. Someone sacrificed something they treasured for you to be where you are today. DO it for the next generation.

  6. Splacka8
    April 22, 2008 at 3:53 am

    Unreported World – Kenya’s Human Time Bomb

  7. JM
    January 14, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    KENYA: It’s the economy, stupid (not “tribalism”)

    09 Jan 2008 16:16:49 GMT

    Source: IRIN

    The wave of violence that engulfed Kenya after the presidential election has been widely described as tribal or ethnic in nature. But analysts in the east African country point to basic economics as the true cause of the unrest.

    Widespread violence and a humanitarian crisis were triggered by the 30 December announcement that incumbent Mwai Kibaki had won a hotly contested presidential poll amid opposition claims of rigging and international observers’ reports of serious irregularities in the vote-tallying process.

    “In the urban areas, there was a lot of senseless burning and looting, which was people taking out their economic grievances during a leadership vacuum. They just let loose and attacked any targets, burning their neighbours’ houses, regardless of whether they are PNU [Party of National Unity, Kibaki's party] or ODM [Orange Democratic Movement, the opposition],” Macharia Gaitho, a political columnist, told IRIN.

    While specific ethnic groups – there are more than 40 in Kenya – were targeted during the violence, the tensions that led to such clashes were not the result of ethnicity per se, but, according an editorial in the Sunday Nation newspaper, an almost inevitable consequence of the country’s economic system: “Kenya practises a brutal, inhuman brand of capitalism that encourages a fierce competition for survival, wealth and power. Those who can’t compete successfully are allowed to live like animals in slums.”

    Inequality pervasive

    In Nairobi, more than 60 percent of the population live in slums, some of which lie a stone’s throw away from the city’s most luxurious houses. According to a report (Pulling Apart: Facts and Figures on Inequality in Kenya) by the Nairobi-based Society for International Development (SID), Kenya is the 10th most unequal country in the world in terms of wealth disparities. Of Africa’s 54 states, it is the fifth most unequal. The 2004 report, using UN Development Programme figures, states that Kenya’s richest earn 56 times more than its poorest: the top 10 percent of the population controls 42 percent of the country’s wealth, while the bottom 10 percent own 0.76 percent.

    Inequality pervades every aspect of Kenyans’ lives, according to the report, citing enormous disparities – both in the capital and at national level – in almost every sphere of life: income; access to education, water and health; life expectancy; and prevalence of HIV/AIDS. A person born in the western Nyanza province, the bedrock of ODM support, can expect to die 16 years younger than a fellow citizen in Central province, Kibaki’s home turf. Child immunisation rates in Nyanza are less than half those in Central.

    Another impoverished region is North Eastern province. While almost every child in Central attends primary school, only one in three does in North Eastern. More than nine out of very 10 women in North Eastern have no education at all. In Central, the proportion is less than 3 percent. In these two provinces, there is one doctor for 120,000 and 20,000 respectively.

    Kibaki’s role

    Critics of Kibaki, who came to power in 2002, accuse his government of failing to address this inequality and of focusing instead on the economic growth seen over the past five years. Before he came to power on a wave of euphoria and hope after 24 years of rule under the autocratic Daniel arap Moi, Kenya’s growth stood at minus 1.6 percent. In 2007, it reached 5.5 percent and before the elections was predicted to hit 7 percent in 2008. This growth has been concentrated in the service sector, with banks, tourism and communications companies making big profits. Prices of shares and property have also soared. But rather than trickling down to the worst off, this boom appears to have been very selective in its beneficiaries while the poor have seen the purchasing power of their shilling shrink. Before Kibaki came to power, “we used to buy sugar for 45 shillings”, Agnes Naliaka, a long-term resident of Nairobi’s Kawangware slum, told IRIN. “Now it’s 65 shillings. A kilo of cooking fat was 50 shillings. Now it’s over 100 shillings,” she said, adding that rents in the slum had doubled over the past five years. For David Ndii, executive director of the Kenya Leadership Institute, “the Kibaki government has been very cavalier about the treatment of the poor. Hawkers’ stalls were demolished and they were not given any alternatives. Economic policies have not been pro-poor. This growth has been biased in favour of profits as opposed to translated into jobs.”

    Fast growth “When a poor economy starts to grow very fast like Kenya did, levels of inequality rise,” MJ Gitau, a SID programme officer and contributor to the inequality report, told IRIN. “You need assets and property rights to participate in economic production and exchange. Only a few have assets, are educated, able to save and invest, to take advantage of the high growth rates of the last few years. Those who have, get more. Those who do not, lose the little they have,” Gitau explained. Ethnicity came into play during the election violence because of the widespread perception that those who fared best under Kibaki were his own Kikuyu group, the country’s largest, which dominated politics and the economy both under his administration and that of founding president Jomo Kenyatta.

    However, Kibaki’s party says poverty levels have fallen from 56 to 46 percent, lifting some two million people out of abject poverty, and that more than 1.8 million jobs were created during his first five-year term.

    “Our country is shining once again and I have ever bigger plans for the development of the country during my second term. We are changing people’s lives for the better,” Kibaki declared two weeks before polling day.

    That is not how many Kenyans see it.

    “People reacted like they did because they were hoping for change [after the 2002 election]. Kibaki came and promised many things which he didn’t do,” said Agnes of Kawangware slum.

    Let down

    Kenya’s youth in particular, who make up a majority of the population – and of those who rioted – feel the most let down. Improved education gave them hope of a better life than their parents’, hope that was dashed, according to Kwamchetsi Makokha of Nairobi-based communications consultancy Form and Content. “Under colonialism, it was almost a slave labour system which grew up in the early days of the coffee estates. After independence [in 1963], the white master was simply replaced by the black master. A lot of young people who got a bit of education could not see themselves working for pittances as farm labourers. They started drifting to the cities where the opportunities are not enough to accommodate all of them. You have this massive influx of people who just can’t find work,” he told IRIN.

    Nor can they find a political voice, he added. “The common Kenyan citizen who does not have money or property does not have a say in how Kenya is organised. They never have. It’s always been about what car you drive, where you live, and then you have more rights than other people.”

    Another ingredient in this combustible mix is corruption, which Kibaki pledged to eradicate but which under his rule, according to analyst and author Gerard Prunier, “reached new heights, matching some of the excesses of the Moi years”.

    Observers hope that the explosion of anger and violence Kenya has witnessed over the past week will shake the country’s political leaders into resolving not only the row over who one the election and how power should be shared but also the country’s deep inequalities. “If anything positive is to come out of this electoral stalemate and the criminal destruction that has visited it, one hopes it will have served as a wake-up call to all Kenyans that the yawning gap between the middle class and the poor is a powder keg just waiting to explode with the most grave consequence,” warned columnist Washington Akumu in the Nation.



  8. EagleEye
    January 12, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    The solution here is social engineering, most of those Kaleos have no idea of that document called constitution, so how do you expect them to the think twice and respect the Law before killing or destroying property?. During Moi era most of this Kaleos did not take advantage of their position in governement, after Moi they all left Nairobi and all other major towns even Nakuru and back they went to their shugz. Today Kaleos are less educated, even after 24yrs of Moi, that should tell you that majority Kaleos are not prepared for the 21st century which bears all signs of competition for resource. How do they survive? most of them depend on Athletic’s, Military and Herding AND being Nilotics,they will not farm either; just like Jaluo’s with their fishing and communal dependancies. So they need to blame Moi and not the peasant Kisii’s or Kikuyu’s. Kisii’s have never been close to power but they are possibly the next richest tribe in Kenya. why because of their need and demand for resource, this has made them enterpreneurior. Look at Central the smallest province there is in Kenya and take Kisii vs the population density why will people not want to move to other places? We need to address the social aspect of migration and how we can prepare tribes like Kaleos to accept others, by either forcing them to stay in school or something. We need to shutdown all vernacular stations to prevent the spread of tribalism among ourselves, the govern’t needs to discourage tribal kingship as a start. I can go on and on……feel free to critic and contribute to this suggestions.

    Lets get those excutioners to justice first.

  9. GK
    January 11, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Government buying back land and reselling it to the ‘locals’ is quite ludicrous. the solution will only come when we can come to the understanding that Kenya belongs to Kenyans by BIRTHRIGHT!
    Unless people understand this concept we shall be going round in circles forever. RV does not belong to Kalenjins et al it belongs to Kenyans, Nyanza does not belong to Luos et al it belongs to Kenyans – you get the drift therefore GK as a Kenyans should be able to pick up myself and follow/pursue greener pastures wherever that maybe AND I should be protected constitutionally to be able to do that.
    Granted the RV issue is a bit convoluted since ati Kenyatta gave kyuks the land, lakini was anyone displaced or was anyones land taken away from them to be given to kikuyus? I don’t know that history well enough. However for Luos to fukuza kyuks that is plain upumbavu. Am sure these people were not given freebies they worked their asses off as they pursued … greener pastures.
    this issue is more politica than land issuel and it stinks to high heaven. Why don’t people chase away Asians who are super rich and they have infiltrated every part of Kenya lakini when wakikuyu show the same industry, work ethic and a knack for making money people go ballistic and some ‘people’s president’ and his PM wannabe incite their supporters and make Kikuyus the enemy. Ati wamekula sana. BS! They are eating their hard earned whatever it is wamekula sana.
    If people had Kenya’s interest at heart they should study Kikuyus and ask the lazers to emmulate them. Kibaki’s theme has always been – FANYA KAZI – and that my fellow Kenyans should be the mantra of all these Kikuyu hataers because I can assure you many were not born with the silver spoon in their mouths and neither did their tribe make the way easire for them. Theirs is a story of HEART, SWEAT, & TEARS.

  10. wk
    January 10, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    A lot of those in the US are should read the history to understand how the country was built. From land issues out west and the civil war Americans have always placed high property protection rights over democracy. That why the issues of gun control stirs soo much emotions in America. Very few rural American folks don’t have guns. The government’s main purpose should be to protect property rights so people can enjoy their individual freedoms.

    The Govt should either provide total protection for those in the RV or provide means for individuals to protect themselves.

  11. kenyanentrepreneur
    January 10, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    what happened to your grand-mothers land??? These people can’t just take her land!!

    Now you are just irritating with that line about certain tribes benefitting from land and you have forced me to go back to my radicalism. That land belongs to those people and they should be returned their and they should be provided with security. If those thugs think they can keep hacking people and stealing their land, they should dealt with harshly.

    You see what you and Kabesa just did to me? I was calming down and you got me all worked up again.

  12. SkyRed
    January 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    I’m sure we all know about the rwanda genocide, and while some people think we are far removed from that, what we have in Kenya right now is as someone eloquently stated a powder keg ready to blow. Check out this news article about fighting in the Congo’s based on ethnic hatred and see where we could be in the next 3 months if our politicians and kenyans as a whole dont cool their heels and come to their senses.

    To answer Kenyanentrep, yes diversifying of the economy is all good and dandy. BUT, unless we deal with the notion that certain tribes have benefitted e.g. Kikuyu’s in the RV, land will always be an issue. Always. This is something that has to be met head on and there are no easy solutions here. The government can begin by first ensuring everyones security no matter where they live. This should be enshrined in our constituition (if we ever get one) Secondly, As someone above suggested, the govt. can buy back the land from the Kikuyu’s in the RV and resettle the locals. This would be more an act of good faith than anything else. Yes the Kikuyu’s would lose their land, but they’d get market value for the land, and the locals get their land and we settle this like gentlemen and not the brutes we have exposed ourselves to be. Whatever the solution, it is going to be painful. Some pple will have to give up what they deem precious.
    The only problem i forsee in all of this banter is: Assuming Raila cool’s and things get back to “normal”, Kibaki has not proven to be a Leader who tries to change anything. He retreats back into the shadow’s and things continue as they were. Sigh, i see no light at the end of this tunnel.

  13. kabesa
    January 10, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    My Grandma now lives with my sister in Nairobi. Others who have no relatives are not so lucky.

  14. Kinoo
    January 10, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I have not agreed much with anyone on this issue but I have to say all of you have valid points.

    Please lets not blame the election for this caos. The same thing happened days of saba saba, put desparate people in a stadium and watch them become gangstas over night. Same thing as the old AFC and Gor Mahia feuds, the Puerto Rico parade in NYC.

    All the mentioned have something in common. They don’t own any property.

    The Govt needs to seriously start resolving this land issues immediately. I know a good friend who is a kikuyus and lived in Nandi hills for over 40 years. Their house, gas station and hotel got burnt down. I’m not sure they will feel safe going back. It is a done deal.

    In the meantime, I hope the Govt can address land distribution. This is what I propose, build houses that are decent for the poor and give them an option to own. Have this people register and weed out the criminals. In the RV, the Govt should have a buy back programme for those who feel threatened and relocate them. This is not easy but I’m not sure remaining behind or pretending this resentments don’t exist is an alternative. Increase law enforcement in the affected areas ten folds.

    On the education front, I think the old system of grading school should end, I think there need to be a system where kikuyus have to go to school in Nyanza for two years and other tribes miggle to create understanding and hamony for each other. The Govt is paying high schools just tell the students where they need to go to school. I feel if people can understand each other, it makes it harder to judge or dehumanize each other. In American, Mexicans are looked down on as illigal immigrants but if you met a Mexicans and took time to bond with one, you would realise they are humans just like me and you. Those people who went to national school are more accomodating to others than someone who went to Odinga High school in Siaya and Luo was a subject (and the same goes for any tribe) – they ooze ignorance. Just lookk at your phone see the text messages it might be a joke to some, but a serious matter to alot of people. (incase you didn’t receive the latest, it was about luos rioting in NH when Mrs. Clinton won the Democratic primaries)

    I also hope, God will do his deed, please can you direct a huricane or tsunami to this old leaders. We just need new fresh leaders PERIOD. Or drop a ten thousand pound bomb on parliament when those baboons are all in.

    I also think as much as we all are wrangling with each other, I think the Western nations are as dirty as hell. I would not be surprised they have something to do with this fracus.

    And my prior comment was a joke, I don’t even know who the guy is. Thanks God nobody went off on me – yet.

    Long live Kenya.

  15. Jama wa LD
    January 10, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    NSIS no different than FEMA, all this Gachangi’s appointed to head the many gov’t bodies are interested in lining their pockets…. and that’s the same way Kibaki and his cronies are.. they new this was coming and they don’t care.. Yesterday Kibaki insults the victims with ” talk to your Chiefs””

  16. kabesa
    January 10, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    enterp, the argument you make about the economy is a good one. Please stick to this kind of talk because it will take us a long way. Shun tribal chauvinism. Skyred, I lived in LD for 20 yrs, my grandma ‘still lives there’. I agree with you we need to discuss this land issue candidly. We need a strong economy that will move many Kenyans from an agrarian economy and change in our education system aimed at creating diversity among our young people. I believe if include tolerance in our school curriculum; we can make an impact on the future generation. For the time being this issue needs to be handled with utmost care. RV is a powder keg; we need creative people to guide us through this generation. My friend here represents a very dangerous wing of my community, please tone it down.

  17. kenyanentrepreneur
    January 10, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    The only way to solve the land issue is to keep growing and diversifying the economy so that younger generations of people are not dependent on agricluture for an income. Redistribution is not the answer and I’m afraid those people in the RV who chased away the Kikuyu’s, were doing it under the assumption that the land would be redistributed to them. It won’t be.

    I’m not “bragging” about Michuki. I am telling you what they are going to do and that’s not naive or childish. It is very real and you are already beginning to see it happen.

  18. kabesa
    January 10, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    There is no need to reason with a cynic like you. What you are selling is hopelessness. If we had taken it lying down during the Moi’s regime, we couldn’t have gotten to where we got to in 2002.There is a bigger principle here, more than tribe and those barbarians slaughtering young kids and women. It is called democracy. We will get our country back from these old men who are attempting to kill the dream. We will deal with the savages who are committing untold crimes. I know you won’t agree with me here, but Kibaki and his cabal are equally culpable as these losers who tried to burn my Grandma in her house. The anarchy unleashed on our country is a direct result of Kibaki and his friend Michuki’s actions. Let’s not get blinded by tribal loyalty. I have lost immensely; however I can’t just support Kibaki because he is my tribesman at the expense of us all. Let’s have Peace and Justice.

  19. SkyRed
    January 10, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I read this blog and sense that you are very young and naive to the ways of the world. Your “realism” as you call it is not realism. It is suicide. What Kibaki is doing now is simply arming Kenyans with bomb jackets and asking them to get ready to blow themselves up ala suicide bombers.

    Yes it is true that thousands of mostly Kikuyu’s were evicted from the Rift Valley, and probably thousands more killed, and that this was probably organized. This is offcourse a sad and deplorable state of affairs. What i miss in your blog however (Mr./Mrs. Realism) is how we as Kenyans were going to or are going to address the land issue. Planned or not planned what happened in the RV was going to happen one day sooner rather than later. The Kikuyu’s in the RV were settled there during Kenyatta’s time (As is perceived) and this has been a thorn in the side of the local indigenous peoples. Moi was able to quell the peoples anger by various means (Hunger, lack of information, lack of freedom etc) What solution do you see should be put forth to resolve this issue? This is what you should be addressing or acknowledging. Please note that i do not under any circumstances condone what happened in the RV. However, all you have to do is look the world over to realize that Land is one of those issues that people go to war for. Your blog is instead aimed at “bragging” as to how Michuki and his gang will “beat down” those that killed our people. Come to your senses. This is how civil war’s start. All that is needed now is for someone to figure out a way to get the RV people guns. In your “realist” mind you probably think Michuki and his army will crush the RV folks. Look no further than Uganda to see how long it has taken Museveni to defeat the rag tag army assembled in the north.

    In short, what i’m trying to say is we need to address the issues that have been simmering beneath the surface. Land is one of those, corruption and lack of wealth distribution another. Soon, maybe not this time around, but soon, the coast will have the same type of shenanighans flare. Lot’s of land there is owned by non-locals, most of it by absentee landlords.
    Use your blog instead to try and foster discussions of how we can resolve these underlying issues, not getting on some revenge mantra crap.

  20. KE
    January 10, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Grrrrrrr…..(don’t pierce my soul, it’s fragile)

    I am not the one who pre-planned the ethnic cleansing in the rift valley. Those people are the lowest scum of the earth (not I dear, not I).

    I don’t know how many times I have to tell idealists like you that Kibaki is NOT going to resign, there will be no new election and there will be no recount.

    Neither men are going to be reasonable here, but since Kibaki has the power now, he is going to use it to entrench himself in office and Kalonzo Musyoka is going to help him so that he too can entrench himself in 2012.

    Can somebody tell me why the anti-kibaki forces don’t want to accept this reality?


    When was your family displaced and how are they going to start over? I mean, where do you go when you chased away from your land?

  21. kabesa
    January 10, 2008 at 11:58 am

    You are pathetic. You belong to the lowest form, scum of the earth. My family was displaced from Eldoret, but I do not harbor the kind of hate you display in your blog. We can’t make any progress if we think the way you do. We will be caught in a cycle of violence that will destroy us all. Calm down and let us face the issues. The election was stolen; it triggered this round of violence. The solution is to have politicians acknowledge it, have Kibaki and Raila step aside, then have a new election supervised by impartial body. Fix the institutions and address the land issues that face the RV.Stop behaving like a rabid dog, calm down and think.

  22. Kinoo
    January 10, 2008 at 9:31 am

    This is my uncle and a honorable Gentleman. Tread easily … :wink:

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