George Kinoti

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti has for the first time told of how he survived 28 bullets when he was ambushed by thugs he had been pursuing along Jogoo Road.

George Kinoti

Five thugs pumped lead into his stomach, ripping apart his intestines. They also hit his legs.  He told the Star in an exclusive interview in his office. He was headed for the morgue.

My intestines were on the tarmac and those who picked me up declared me dead. On arrival at the hospital, the nurses placed a tag on me saying ‘dead’.

Star editors unanimously voted Kinoti and DPP Noordin Haji as the 2018 Persons of the Year for their courage and commitment to fighting corruption.

Kinoti recalled that it was on May 13, 2005, at around 8pm when he was driving alone towards town when he encountered two thugs robbing a woman motorist.

He single-handedly confronted the robbers, oblivious of the danger that was lurking, as the two criminals were not alone.

At that time, Kinoti, who had first wanted to be a priest, was the leader of the dreaded Kanga Squad, a unit he formed to fight rising crime.

George Kinoti

He took the dangerous job after leaving his prestigious post of Personal Assistant to the Director of Criminal Investigations.

The DCI says, “I felt the need to personally take up arms and deal with Nairobi’s escalating crime wave.” Many people had abandoned expensive homes and fled Ngong area because of daily attacks and break-ins.

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On the night of the 28 bullets, Kinoti left his Kanga team, telling them to go prepare for the night operation. They were to wait for him at the Simmers Restaurant (since demolished) at their reserved table, before proceeding on patrol.

But before they could meet, Kinoti faced five armed men who sprayed him with bullets that sent him into a coma for days. Kinoti said;

I engaged the five gangsters. I accepted to die but wanted save the members of the public who had gathered there,”

The attack occurred when Kinoti was threatened with assassination for probing the attack on Prof Ngugi wa Thiong’o and his wife at Norfolk apartments in Nairobi.

He says the case was so sensitive that some of the lawyers almost went physical with him.

I knew the thugs were killing me. I really fought. Fortunately they did not get the upper part of my body. My stomach was ripped to pieces. Those who rescued me collected my intestines. My leg was in two pieces.

The DCI boss says a doctor rescued him after he was already tagged as ‘dead’.

Doctors implanted metal during surgery to reattach his leg. The surgery on the intestines was long and complicated and the recovery painful. Before the attack ,he had also survived seven bullet wounds.

Following the 28-bullet near-death experience, the DCI boss says he does not fear being killed for standing with Kenyans who are being ripped off by corrupt leaders and business people.

I have died several times in the field but I have surprising found myself alive, maybe rising from the dead.

Attacks were common during his postings at various stations in Busia, Migori and Nairobi counties. The top detective said;

Even now there are active threats on my head. There are quite a number of groupings who are plotting all manner of evil against me.

Kinoti, who keeps three crucifixes in his offices and a rosary in his pocket, say it is by the courage and the grace of God that he is alive, therefore, he has no fear of attacks. Kinoti said;

The cases we have taken over from other agencies have been a bit challenging. We are raiding the archives which are securely insulated by their owners. It has not been easy to reach where we are.

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He repeated that he doesn’t fear death in the process of fighting corruption.

I have seen death with my own eyes. If someone wants to shoot at me, let them go ahead if they so wish but it won’t deter me. I have had bullets in my body.

“They can poison me or do anything,” the top detective said, “but let them know that death is our destiny and it is God who holds the destiny of men.”

Credits: The Star