14 Military Men Uhuru Has Placed in Strategic Offices

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and military officials with hammock seat canes during a multi-agency join operational training in Boni Forest, Lamu County on July 21, 2021

President Uhuru Kenyatta defended his decision to appoint military leaders to government offices, arguing that they were efficient in delivery, management and administration. 

“I am not militarising anything. But it is only a fool who would not use those who can perform to help him achieve his intended goals. 

"I am using reliable Kenyan citizens to fulfil my agenda for this Republic. And the KDF are part of us and are also part of our citizens,” the President said after his critics accused him of militarizing the government.  Over the last few months, the President has appointed several ex-military officers to key strategic positions as part of his administration's plan to boost efficiency and productivity. We look at some of the public organs that are now headed by military men;


President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) speaks with NMS General Mohamed Badi (centre) and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (left) at an event in Nairobi in August 2020

Kenya Prisons

On Wednesday, November 17, Uhuru fired Commissioner-General of Kenya Prisons Service Wycliffe Ogalo following the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison jailbreak. Ogalo was replaced with Ex-KDF Brigadier (Rtd) John Kibaso Warioba.

Ministry of Energy

Uhuru, in September 2021 transferred Major Gen (Rtd) Dr. Gordon O. Kihalangwa to serve as Permanent Secretary in the Energy docket. Kihalangwa previously served in three State Departments of Defence, Public Works and Immigration.

The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) 

Kenyatta formed NMS and placed it under Kenya Air Force Major General Mohamed Badi.

The airforce pilot is overseeing the transformation in Nairobi County; from roads projects to housing and water. Despite facing criticism from area Governor Mike Sonko, Badi has stated that he is keen on reviving the city. 

The strategist is expected to go back to the military after serving the President. At NMS, Badi works alongside deputies also drawn from the military. 

Kenya Meat Commission

President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the military to take over the parastatal based at the Ministry of Agriculture under CS Peter Munya.

Munya directed Kenya Meat Commission - Managing Commissioner James ole Seriani to oversee the transfer of duties to the Department of Defence (DOD). The parastatal has faced several issues ranging from graft to mismanagement. 

Kenya Ports Authority

Gen (Rtd) Joseph Kibwana was appointed to be the chairperson of the Kenya Ports Authority. Kibwana served as the Chief of Defence Forces during President Daniel Moi's regime. 

KPA has been in the spotlight over graft related issues and money laundering cases. The government has been keen on streamlining services at KPA and has fired several employees who were accused of graft. 


Former Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Rtd General Samson Mwathethe was appointed as the new Chairman of electricity-generating company KenGen in November 2020. 

Former CDF General Samson Mwathethe (left) hands over KDF flag to CDF General Robert Kibochi at the Defence Headquarters in May 2020

He previously served in various capacities in the military including stints as the Vice Chief of Defence, the Commander of the Kenya Navy and the Kenya Navy Logistics Commander. 

Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC)

KRC is headed by Maj Gen (Rtd) Pastor Awitta. He was appointed to the board on August 7, 2020. 

He served in the Kenya Defence Forces for thirty-four years and held a number of appointments both in the Kenya Navy and at the Department of Defence headquarters

Awitta was tasked with reviving the railway system and collaborating with NMS to recover grabbed the corporation's land.

National Intelligence Service (NIS) 

Kenyatta has appointed a number of NIS officers to head several government offices. From Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai to Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

Maj Gen (Rtd) Philip Kameru heads the NIS since 2014. The spy chief has been credited with playing a major role in matters to do with the war on graft and militias over recent years.

The spymaster is also said to have played a significant role in the March 2018 handshake between Kenyatta and the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. 

Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS)

Brigadier John Migui Waweru heads the wildlife unit tasked with conserving and managing Kenya’s wildlife. 

The Kenya Navy officer once served as commandant of the Kenya Naval Training School. 

His appointment to head KWS jolted conservationists who questioned the move to appoint a non-civilian to the board. 



Kenyatta has said he is keen on curbing graft and has numerously stated that it will define his legacy.

EACC's Chief Executive Twalib Mbarak served in the military for over 34 years. He was lauded for his military intelligence and experience. 

He also served at the National Intelligence Service (NIS) 


Nairobi Water Sewerage  

NMS Director-General Abdalla Badi reconstituted the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) Board and appointed Major-General (Rtd) Andrew Ikenye as the chairperson for a three-year period.

Ikenye served as the commandant at the National Defence College before his retirement in 2019. He took over from Beryl Okumu. Badi urged Ikenye to dismantle cartels disrupting water distribution in Kenya. 

Kenya Coast Guard (KCG)

The coast guards serve under Director-General Brigadier Vincent Naisho Loonena. Kenya Coast Guard Service is a specialized maritime force responsible for law enforcement on national waters, including on the oceans, lakes and rivers.

Loonena, who has a past career spanning 20 years with the Kenya Defence Forces, was appointed to the post from the Defence Forces Medical Insurance Scheme where he served as Managing Director for four months.


Major Gen (Rtd) Samuel Nandwa and Maj Gen (Rtd) Ngewa Mukala were posted to South Sudan and Sudan respectively as ambassadors. 

Former military commanders who serve as ambassadors include Maj Gen (Rtd) Joff Otieno (Egypt), Maj Gen (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo (Somalia) and Lt Gen (Rtd) Johnson Ondieki (Turkey).


National Social Security Fund (NSSF)

Gen (Rtd) Julius Karangi heads the NSSF, the government agency responsible for the collection, safekeeping, responsible investment and distribution of retirement funds of employees in both the formal and informal sectors.

Karangi also served as the Chief of Defence Forces under Presidents Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta (Centre), Raychelle Omamo (Left) and retired General of the Kenya Defense Forces Julius Waweru Karangi, September 2014.
President Uhuru Kenyatta (Centre), Raychelle Omamo (Left) and retired General of the Kenya Defense Forces Julius Waweru Karangi, September 2014.