- August 30, 2021
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Kenya’s deputy president Ruto’s security detail saga heads to Parliament
Deputy President William Ruto’s security saga is headed to Parliament, with his allies demanding the summoning of top civil servants to explain changes in his security detail.
This came as Dr Ruto continued to downplay the changes, saying he has no problem being guarded by Administration Police and “they can even bring in the G4S” (a private security company).
The government last week downgraded the DP’s security by withdrawing elite General Service Unit (GSU) officers guarding his official and personal residences.
As a category one VVIP, the deputy president is entitled to security from the same elite guards as his boss.
Both of them are supposed to be guarded by the G Company and the Recce Company, which are elite platoons from the GSU whose members are carefully selected to form the Presidential Security Unit.
Now, MPs allied to the DP want Parliament to summon the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Interior Cabinet Fred Matiang’i, police boss Hilary Mutyambai as well as the GSU commandant to explain why DP’s security was downgraded.
“On Monday (today) I will be submitting my letter to the speaker of the Senate to convene a special session and summon CS Matiang’I, his PS-Karanja Kibicho, Mr Mutyambai, GSU Commandant, the Head of Presidential Escort and Head of Public Service to appear before Senate and tell Kenyans why security details of DP Ruto was changed,” said Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei.
The lawmaker said the Constitution is very clear on the manner in which the DP and his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta should be protected.
Citing the incident of July 2017 where a gunman laid siege at DP’s Sugoi home, Mr Cherargei yesterday claimed that replacing Dr Ruto’s security details with the Administration Police (AP) was exposing him to a lot of danger.
Withdrawal of elite GSU officers
“In 2017, DP’s Sugoi residence was attacked, no one has given us even a skeleton of any investigation that has been done so far. We suspect that there is a consistent effort to expose the DP to personal harm,” said Mr Cherargei.
This comes even as the DP’s office still awaits a response from Mr Mutyambai on the sudden withdrawal of the elite GSU officers, with the DP’s Director of Communication Emmanuel Talam saying the police boss has not responded to their letter.
“The IG has not yet responded to our letter,” Mr Talam told the Nation yesterday.
In a letter to the Inspector-General of Police on Thursday, DP said his new security detail might have been sent to his homes with ulterior motives.
“What is the connection between the withdrawal of the GSU and the public statements of persons declaring that the Deputy President will not be there in 2022?” Dr Ruto asked through his chief of staff Ken Osinde.
“Is it the case that suspicious persons in AP uniform have been deployed at the residence with orders to facilitate sinister schemes against the Deputy President, which the withdrawn GSU refused to implement?”
The National Police Service, however, had said the replacement of the GSU officers with those from the Administration Police was a “normal re-assignment to enhance efficiency.”
Yesterday, Dr Ruto continued to downplay the significance of the changes that have rattled his inner circle.
“I have no problem with the AP being sent to guard my homes. If the GSU have a job elsewhere so that Kenyans can be safe elsewhere, let them go and do it. They can even bring in the G4S (private security company). There is no problem,” the DP said in Bahati, Nakuru.
“Let us not try and divide our security forces. Let’s stop the petty politics of ho is senior, who is junior, and whatnot. Those do not help Kenyans. Our priorities should be elsewhere; ensuring that Kenyans have jobs and income.”
He reiterated that quitting government would be his last option even after Me Kenyatta asked him to leave is he is unhappy with Jubilee administration.
“I want to tell those people who are advising me to resign that the day I decided to join politics I knew that in leadership one always faces challenges and problems and the solution is to face them rather than running away from them. They have offered me their advice in good faith but am not going anywhere,” he said.
Leaders, he said, should stop engaging in cheap politics centered on his security as they are sideshows that will not stop his campaign.
He said those engaging in such talks are people who want to establish who is in the government instead of prioritizing their energies on development projects that would benefit all Kenyans.
But Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika criticized the move by the government to withdraw the security personnel and drivers saying that the DP allies need to address the intent of the changes.
Ms Kihika demanded that the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI) summon Cotu boss Francis Atwoli over his remarks that the DP will not be on the ballot box come 2022.
“The law is very clear. The security that he is entitled to as per the law is the GSU and not AP. As DP close allies we’re shocked to see the changes. We’re still wondering what exactly was the motive and intention,” said Ms Kihika.
Source: Nation Africa