Home Kenya News William Ruto most guarded Kenya’s number 2 with 257 cops, says state

William Ruto most guarded Kenya’s number 2 with 257 cops, says state

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William-Ruto

The government has unleashed a scathing attack on Deputy President William Ruto, revealing details of his bloated security arrangement as the state moves to dismiss claims of security downgrade.

In a rare revelation, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i on Wednesday gave a detailed account of security deployment around Ruto, his offices, residences, and private property.

All are manned by a record 257 police officers, who Matiang’i estimates to be more than the security strength of many small counties like Vihiga and Nyamira.

Matiang’i spoke when he appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security to explain the alleged downgrade of the DP’s security detail.

Last week, GSU officers manning the DP’s official residence in Karen and his private homes in Nairobi and Uasin Gishu were withdrawn and replaced with administration police officers in what was seen as a downgrade of his security detail.

Ruto’s allies protested the move, demanding the government reinstate the GSU officers. However, on Wednesday, Matiang’i insisted that only state lodges and state houses are manned by GSU.

DP’s residences, he noted, are not categorised as protected areas.

Ruto’s office, through communication secretary David Mugonyi, yesterday disputed Matiang’i’s explanation, questioning why the elite officers had been deployed there since 2013.

“The realisation nine years after the fact, in the context of many other orchestrated political events, schemes and machinations against the DP clearly indicate that Matiang’i was acting in explicit pursuit of a malevolent political agenda,” Mugonyi said.

But Matiang’i had termed the changes normal routine operations, allaying fears of any threat to Ruto’s security. He said the DP’s security is multi-layered, with the inner layer having 74 officers drawn from the elite Presidential Escort Unit.

This has remained intact and has not been affected by last week’s reorganization, the CS said.

The inner team is responsible for the personal security of the DP on a daily basis and is reinforced with a further five highly trained GSU officers and six special officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

Matiang’i said layer two, which is responsible for the round-the-clock guarding of the DP’s residences, offices, and private properties, has a security strength of 121 officers.

“Currently, 121 officers from the Administration Police and Prisons Services are providing security at the DP’s various residences. In addition to the 74 Presidential Escort personnel, six officers from the DCI and five drivers from the GSU are deployed,” Matiang’i told MPs.

The CS said Ruto enjoys the services of a further 51 officers from various police units deployed in other properties he owns.

“Contrary to the allegations made in view of the tabled evidence, the Deputy President is the most guarded in the history of the country in comparison with previous equivalent officeholders,” Matiang’i said.

“Cumulatively, the strength of personnel allocated to the DP is 257 officers. The number could even be more.”

This, Matiangi said, makes Ruto the most guarded holder of the office in post-Independence Kenya.

Of all the 10 former vice presidents the country has had since Independence, none of them had close to half of the officers posted to guard Ruto.

According to a document tabled by the CS, the country’s first Vice President Oginga Odinga had 30 officers, Joseph Murumbi (22), Daniel Moi (34), Mwai Kibaki (26), Josephat Karanja (22), George Saitoti (30), Musalia Mudavadi (22), Michael Wamalwa (22), Moody Awori (22) and Kalonzo Musyoka (26).

Opposition chief Raila Odinga, who served as the country’s second Prime Minister from 2008 to 2013, was guarded by 57 police officers.

Mugonyi, however, argued that the DP’s office created by the 2010 Constitution operates differently from the previous offices of the vice presidents.

“It is dishonest of Dr Matiang’i to compare offices from an obsolete constitutional and historical era, and which preexisted the office of the Deputy President,” he said.

Matiang’i was accompanied by Interior PS Karanja Kibicho, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyamabai, DCI chief George Kinoti and GSU Commandant Douglas Kanja, among other senior ministry officials.

The revelations came a day after the DP said Parliament’s time should not be wasted on non-issues.

“Parliament should instead focus on deployment to serious security situations in areas where bandits are causing mayhem and destruction,” he said.

“Do not waste time discussing my security. The security of millions of ordinary Kenyans is more important.”

He said he was satisfied with the security personnel that he had been accorded.

“Parliament should focus on working closely with those in charge of the security docket to make Kenya more stable,” Ruto said.

-The-Star

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