SEVEN SUCCESSIVE DCI chiefs have trusted him with their top secrets and their lives – for a record 33 years! He has handled files containing the country’s highly classified information, which has remained a closely guarded secret between him and six directors of the defunct Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the current boss of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), George Kinoti.
The other persons who might have been privy to all those top secrets are the last three presidents: Daniel arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta. And possibly a few other top Government officials.
When you bump into the ever jovial, humble, and friendly stout man in the corridors of the Mazingira Complex on Kiambu Road, Nairobi, going about his business, he portrays the image of just an ordinary office worker. You are more likely to brush him aside – not until you walk into the DCI Director’s executive office and notice he has unlimited access to the boss.
Gilbert Kibaara Mathai is not your ordinary operative. He has rubbed shoulders with the high and mighty in this land and foreign dignitaries, who have visited every DCI chief in the past 33 years.
In addition to handling confidential files and documents, Kibaara has for that period been trusted to prepare tea and meals for the seven top detectives. After cooking the food in the kitchen, he personally delivers it to the executive table. That’s the high level of trust bestowed on Kibaara’s shoulders.
Kibaara first set foot in the director’s office in 1989, when Noah arap Too – Kenya’s longest serving CID chief – was the boss. To date, the only time Kibaara has been out of that office is when he’s going home or while on leave. That’s no mean achievement in a country where mistrust is deeply rooted in Government and private offices.
Support staff Yukabed Kerubo Mabeya is the only one entrusted with Kibaara’s duties when he is away.
Asked why Kibaara won his heart and those of his predecessors, Kinoti says: “The man is honest, obedient and trustworthy. He’s not like the office workers who spy on their bosses, and leak information and documents to unauthorised quarters.”
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