William Ruto uses elite police to guard ‘criminals’, claims Matiang’i
The Ministry of Interior has accused Deputy President William Ruto of misusing the elite security detail deployed to guard him and his family, on a day that it emerged that the country’s second in command has a massive protection detail numbering 257 personnel.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i yesterday told a committee of National Assembly that the DP had taken to redeploying the elite officers attached to him to undertake non-core functions that had nothing to do with his official duties, effectively usurping the role of the Inspector General of Police.
Sources who attended a closed-door session between Dr Matiang’I and the parliamentary Committee on Security and National Administration told Newszetu that the CS accused the DP of re-deploying the elite officers attached to him to guard individuals he described as “criminals and persons with questionable character, who are a danger to the State.”
“He (the DP) is behaving like he is the Inspector General of Police and this is against the law,” a source who attended the session that was held in camera quoted Dr Matiangi telling the Committee.
This is what forced the government to re-arrange the security detail in the DP’s residences, which saw officers from the General Service Unit (GSU) taken away and replaced with officers from the Critical Infrastructure and Vital Installation Unit of the Administration Police Service (APS).
Dr Matiang’i was flanked by Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and all heads of formations of the National Police Service led by Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai, Deputy IG Edward Mbugua (Kenya Police Service), Deputy IG Noor Gabow (Administration Police Service), DCI boss George Kinoti and GSU Commandant Douglas Kanja.
“The power to deploy officers is a preserve of the IGP and it is not acceptable that some people should arrogate upon themselves the powers,” Dr Matiang’I reportedly emphasised to the MPs.
The deputy president denied the accusation, in a statement released shortly after Dr Matiang’i’s address to the MPs.
“The deputy president does not deploy security to himself or to anyone else,” stated the Communications Secretary in the Office of the Deputy President, David Mugonyi.
The sources who attended the closed-door session said Dr Matiang’i claimed that the DP had allocated two officers each to MPs Aisha Jumwa and Oscar Sudi after their security was withdrawn when they were arraigned on criminal charges.
Ms Jumwa is accused of killing Ngumbao Jola, when chaos broke out during Ganda ward by-election on October 15, 2019, while Mr Sudi has two cases related to forgery of his academic certificates and is also facing hate speech and offensive conduct charges.
While their security detail was withdrawn as is standard procedure, the DP went ahead and allocated them two officers each, who provide them with round-the-clock security without the knowledge of the Inspector General.
“These are well trained officers detailed to guard VVIPs and VIPs, but somebody has taken advantage and misuses them because they know that these highly disciplined officers cannot complain,” Dr Matiang’I is said to have told the MPs.
The CS insisted that claims that there had been a security downgrade around the DP were borne out of ignorance.
“I want to assure the country that there is nothing to worry about the DP’s security. We have disciplined officers and enough assets to protect the holder of that office. There is nothing to worry about,” he said during an earlier open session with MPs.
Dr Matiang’i said as a Deputy President, Mr Ruto enjoys the biggest security detail in numerical terms compared to any other of his predecessors.
He tabled a report showing Kenya’s first Vice President jaramogi was protected by 30 officers, Daniel arap Moi had 34, Mwai Kibaki had 26, Josphat Karanja had 22, George Saitoti (30), Musalia Mudavadi (22), Kijana Wamalwa 22, Moody Awori (22) and Kalonzo Musyoka 26.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga had a total of 57 officers who guarded him.
A total of 257 officers protect Mr Ruto and are commanded by an officer in the rank of Commissioner of Police, assisted by a senior superintendent of police and two Chief Inspectors.
The commissioner of Police is the highest rank to have ever commanded officers in that unit.
DP’s security detail
Units guarding Dr Ruto’s predecessors, including Raila Odinga when he served as Prime Minister between 2008 and 2013, have been commanded by a chief inspector.
Of the 257 officers, 74 are drawn from the elite Recce squad whose main task under the law is to guard the President, Deputy President, State Houses and State Lodges.
The 74 officers is the critical layer that forms the core of the Deputy President’s security detail as it is drawn from the same pool that guards the President.
In that pool, there are 5 officers from GSU and another 6 from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), bringing the total number of core security around the DP to 85.
“The Presidential escort is the core team that guards the DP and it remains intact in terms of personnel and its commandant,” Dr Matiangi told the committee, dismissing assertion that the DP’s security has been compromised as a result of last week re-arrangement.
“This is the critical layer as it provides security around the clock, regardless of where, when and how. Nobody has touched or interfered with it.”
The second layer is composed of officers from the SGB who mainly guard Ruto’s residences and businesses across the country. They total 121 and are drawn from GSU, APS and the Kenya Prisons Service.
A total of 51 officers have been availed to the DP to guard his private business spread across the country. In this category six officers have been deployed to guard Kitengela Gas in Kitengela, his 295 hectares Murumbi Farm in Transmara, Narok, Dolphine Hotel Mombasa, his 2,537 hectares Mata Farm in Taita Taveta and his 6,073 hectares ADC Mutara Ranch in Laikipia.
The DP also owns Kwae Island Development Ltd which owns two hangers and 5 helicopters at the Wilson Airport and is guarded around the clock by 5 officers, Weston Hotel (4 officers), his private residence at Elgon View, Eldoret, (4 officers ) and Koitalel Poultry Farm (4 officers).
Another private residence at Kosachei, Eldoret, is guarded by 4 officers, 3 drawn from Prisons and one from APS.
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