MPs to grill security chiefs over Ruto sentry changes

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 00:00 | By
Deputy President William Ruto welcomes the new security team to his official residence in Karen, Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/DPPS

Anthony Mwangi and Mercy Mwai

Committee on Administration and National Security of the National Assembly has summoned the country’s security chiefs led by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to appear before it tomorrow to shed light on the replacement of   Deputy President William Ruto’s security detail.

The committee has also asked Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to accompany Matiang’i to the meeting.

Committee chairman Peter Mwathi (Limuru) while confirming the meeting said Matiang’i and the IG are expected to appraise members on what led to the changes in Ruto’s security system.

“We want them to shed light on whether the action they took is within the law and if not we will have no option but to make the law followed,” Mwathi told People Daily.

He added that the security bosses have confirmed attendance and the meeting will certainly go ahead as planned.

“We want to put the matter to a closure,” Mwathi said and assured that Matiang’i, who has previously been fingered by MPs for defying committee summons in the past will attend.

During the meeting, the top security bosses will be required to explain to members what law they followed while effecting the changes which have since taken a political angle with the DP allies terming it part of the succession wars in the government.  

MPs will seek to establish the law the security organs used to switch Ruto’s security from the elite General Service Unit (GSU) to Administration police.

Life in danger 

The committee will also seek to establish the measures the National Police Service has put in place to ensure that the security of Ruto is not compromised.

Ruto has protested officially against the move to replace his security team and now claims that his life is in danger.

In a letter to Mutyambai, Ruto said that the move to change his security team and five drivers had an ulterior motive.

He also questioned Mutyambai on why he has never taken action against those who have been saying that he will not be in the top seat race in 2022.

“On numerous occasions, persons well known to you have publicly stated that Ruto will not be there in 2022.

You have refused to act upon reports made to you on the implications of such remarks for the security, safety and wellbeing of the DP,” the letter signed by Ken Osinde who is the DP’s chief of staff read in part.

In the last two days, Ruto has seen changes made within his security team which started on Thursday, August 26 when a total of 77 officers drawn from the General Service Unit (GSU), who have been guarding his residence in Karen were replaced by Administration Police (AP) officers.

On Friday, August 27, five drivers who were attached to the prison team were also recalled, however, three of them have since been ordered to go back and work with his transport team as the norm.

He further argued that the decision to make the changes was contrary to the National Police Service standing orders which state that the President and his Deputy security teams should be from the GSU.

In the letter, Ruto gave a chronological context of incidents relevant to this development in which his security has been threatened.

On July 29, 2017, a gunman forced his way to the DPs rural home in Sugoi, murdered a GSU officer injured another and laid siege for hours.

The letter also said on January 8, 2020 security officers were instructed to lock His Excellency the Deputy President out of his official residence in Mombasa and it remains locked to date.

On September 10, 2020, chaos erupted in Kisii town ahead of DP arrival for a youth event and to date no official communication has been made about it.

 On October 4, 2020, you instructed armed police officers to violently stop the DP from attending a church service in Murang’a county where teargas was lobbed to worshippers at Kenol AIPCA church. No action has been taken to date.

The IG was questioned on why he has never investigated reports about assassination meetings at Hotel La Mada. 

Yesterday, Ruto welcomed and had tea with more than 10 Administration Police officers deployed to his Karen residence following the withdrawal of the elite General Service Unit. 

“Sharing a cup of tea with the new security team as I welcome them to the Official Residence of the Deputy President,” Ruto tweeted.

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