Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Director-General Brigadier (Rtd) John Waweru was on Monday sent on compulsory leave.

Reports reaching Swala Nyeti indicate that Erastus Kanga, who is the current Wildlife Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, has replaced him in an acting capacity.

Brig (Rtd) Waweru received a directive to proceed on compulsory leave shortly after attending the handing over event of the Principal Secretary, State Department for Wildlife.

He was appointed by then President Uhuru Kenyatta to the position at KWS on March 13, 2019.

Reports intimate that Sylvia Museiya Muhoro, the new PS in the state department domiciled in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, issued the orders immediately on assuming office.

The memo dated December 5, 2022 sending the DG packing was sent through Valentain Kanani, KWS Deputy Director Human Resource and Administration, and appealed to all staff under the service to accord his replacement the necessary assistance. 

The move came moments after Dr Susan Jemutai Koech handed over the office to Muhoro after the approval of the names of 51 PSs by the National Assembly after vetting last week.

Reports indicate to Swala Nyeti that the decision to edge Brig (Rtd) Waweru out of KWS was due his closeness to the previous administration as the President William Ruto government seeks to stamp its authority and roots across all ministries and state departments.

Scouting for a replacement for Brig (Rtd) Waweru is said to be underway as sources indicate that his fate could already be sealed at the wildlife service with the Dr Ruto administration said to be looking for a candidate loyal to the Kenya Kwanza "hustler" agenda.  

On November 6, he attended the National Prayers Thanksgiving Service for Disciplined Uniformed Officers at the Holy Family Basilica Catholic Church which was presided over by the Most Reverend Archbishop, Phillip Anyolo of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Nairobi and graced by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Interior CS Kindiki Kithure in what could have been his final official public engagement. 

In 2019, the State Department through then PS Dr Susan Koech defended President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointing Brig (Rtd) Waweru after his hiring was challenged by Renny Langat.

Renny then wanted the court to quash his appointment alleging that the new KWS DG was a career military man and his training was not relevant to his duties in the service.

Dr Koech then told the court that Waweru’s appointment was regular, legal and complied with the Constitution and that President Kenyatta did not abuse any provisions of the law.

KWS is a state corporation under the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife that was established by an act of Parliament; Wildlife Conservation and Management Act CAP 376 of 1989, which was later repealed and replaced by the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013.