Revealed: How Aydin led to downgrading of DP Ruto’s security
The deployment of officers from the elite General Service Unit (GSU) to provide round the clock security to controversial Turkish businessman Aydin Harun could have led to the downgrading of Deputy President William Ruto’s security detail, it has emerged.
Highly placed sources in government revealed that the country’s security sector was alarmed after discovering that part of the elite security detail assigned to the DP had been deployed to guard the controversial Turkish businessman.
Investigations reveal that some officers were tasked with guarding some individuals who are not entitled to such security arrangements, with a number of concerns raised in the last one year.
In a meeting held on July 31, it was pointed out that some guards had been deployed to guard civilians and even foreigners, some of whom were on the security radar over suspected money laundering schemes.
Around that time, security officials revealed Aydin’s presence and two other individuals Hamit Demir holder of passport number U23165848 and Mehmet Akif Bagle holder of passport number U11979628.
Aydin, according to security sources, had been assigned the elite guards during his visits to the country.
The two other Turkish nationals were in the country briefly before they travelled to Uganda aboard Kenya Airways flight number KQ420.
Reports also indicate some guards were accompanying Kapsaret MP Oscar Sudi contrary to police regulations.
On September 6, last year, during the botched arrest of Sudi, two Presidential Escort Unit (PEU) officers -Constables Isaac Dida and Simon Siengo - were arrested at Sudi’s residence.
Both were armed and the local police also recovered a police vehicle and a Gilboa rifle with 30 rounds of ammunition.
It was later revealed that the vehicle and firearm had been assigned to Chief Inspector Amos Ekiru, also attached to PEU.
The officers were on September 17 last year grilled at the police headquarters over their deployment and presence at the legislator’s residence.
The officers, however, defended themselves saying they had escorted DP Ruto to his residence where they handed over the GSU guarding the Sugoi residence before they left to join Sudi at his house.
In mid June this year, it was recommended that PEU officers attached to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy be separated from the Central command.
They had been operating as a unit since 2013 and could be deployed interchangeably to the two and their families.
The VIP protection is more than just physical safety but also about preserving the reputation and public image of the official.
Concerns have recently been raised on the leakage of information. Based on the principle of the need-to-know, the separation implied that the guards did not access sensitive information about the President’s security unless they had a specific need to know where such information was necessary for the officer’s official duty.
Another person said to have been enjoying the security is a former member of the Friends of Jubilee Foundation lobby, who together with her daughters have been under investigations over alleged unpaid taxes for the billions of shillings earned from government tenders.
Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa is also said to have at one point been assigned officers from this unit, also contrary to police regulations. The legislator has however rubbished the claims saying they are untrue.
Yesterday she told People Daily that initially she was assigned six guards drawn from the Administration Police unit.
However, she said the officers were all withdrawn after she declared her support for Ruto’s 2022 Presidential bid adding now she relies on “the protection of God, the people of Kilifi and Kenya for protection.”
Despite the ongoing debate, the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai has maintained that the security of the DP is intact and was never affected by the restructuring.
The GSU officers were replaced by the AP’s Critical Infrastructure Police Unit (CIPU) who are equally trained to guard structures and provide security to VIPs.
Other formed units of the AP include the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, the Camel Unit, Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU), Border Police Unit (BPU), and the APS Stock Theft Prevention Unit (APS - ASTU).
President Uhuru Kenyatta is currently the most guarded person in the country with a total of more than 200 officers from the PEU.
Depending on the nature and location of assignment, the PEU officers can also get help from the local police especially on the outer security layer.
Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang’i, while appearing before the National Assembly Administration and National Security Committee revealed that the hundreds of officers, s, had been deployed to provide round the clock security to the DP’s numerous residences and other properties across the country.
Matiang’i, who had been summoned by the committee to respond to queries raised over the replacement of the GSU officers attached to the DP with Administration Police Service officers at all his residences, denied claims that the personnel had been downgraded.
Matiang’i, who was accompanied by Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and the Director of Criminal Investigations, George Kinoti, outlined the three layers of security personnel assigned to the DP’s various properties.
The properties, according to Matiang’i, include his private residences at Elgon View in Eldoret town with four security officers, Kosachei in the same town (four officers), Kitengela Gas in Kajiado County (6 officers), Weston Hotel (six) and the 395 hectare Murumbi Farm in Transmara, Narok county (six officers).