Former Nairobi Regional Police Commander Rashid Yakub is the new chairman of the Firearms Licensing Board.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki named Yakub chairman of the powerful board in changes that took effect on February 1, 2023.
Kindiki, in a special gazzete notice, revoked the appointment of Charles Mukindia as the board chair with immediate effect. Subsequently, Mukindia will go back to his former station at the National Intelligence Service.
Mukindia has been the chairman of the board since November 2018 during which he introduced a number of reforms.
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Yakub has in the past served as the director of operations at Kenya Police headquarters, Vigilance House up to December 2022 when he was moved to community policing Directorate.
The firearms board is mandated to establish a digital registry of licensed firearm holders who shall be required to apply for new certificates annually.
The membership of the firearms board includes two representatives from the National Police Service, one from the State Law Office, the Kenya Wildlife Service, National Intelligence Service, and the National Focal Point on illicit arms.
The board is tasked with certifying suitability of applications and reassessing proficiency of firearm holders. The board also keeps a centralized record management system of a firearm, holders, dealers and manufacturers.
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According to Kenyan law, no person shall manufacture, assemble, purchase, acquire or have in his possession an armoured vehicle unless he holds a certificate of approval issued.
Those found with illegal weapons are liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and not more than 15 years.
Gun holders usually go through a rigorous process before they are issued with such a weapon. In Kenya, there are about 11,000 licensed gun holders.
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