escortLong-suffering policemen deployed to protect high-flying VIPs are having a hard time doing their jobs in volatile circumstances.

The highly trained police officers complain that the VIPs perform disappearing acts while others are just too social.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cord Leader Raila Odinga top the list of the hardest VIPs to protect.

Elite police officers from the Recce Squad guarding the President told the Star that the head of state is so accessible that it poses a security risk.

“The President loves people and people love him so when we go out at rallies it is sometimes hell for us. The head of state can decide to say hi to people and suddenly there is a stampede of people shaking his hand,” explained an officer attached to Uhuru.

Uhuru has also reportedly slipped off several times in the last year leaving his security stranded.

The police guarding Raila said the opposition leader is also never afraid of crowds.

“Raila is like a magnet when he shows up in public rallies. People trample on each other trying to reach him and he will not say no or attempt to evade them,” said the police officer.

“We have learnt to throw a big cordon around him but even that is not sufficient,” said another guard attached to the former Prime Minister. Raila still has almost 20 police guards.

Raila enjoys a drink and will often sit with people who his guards do not know.

“The most difficult time is when he goes to private meetings with people we do not know. That scares us a lot a lot because sometimes he takes so long that we have to wait at the door and listen keenly,” said another police guard.

Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko is also a problem for his regular police guards. Although he has his own retinue of heavy security men, the flamboyant senator often breaks away from his guards to shake hands with people or walk into social places in town where he gets mobbed by locals.

The police also complain about other politicians.

Two weeks ago a vocal politician went missing for hours after entering a night club in Nyali. His six guards were happily whiling away time after they had seen him enter the washrooms just before midnight.

After two hours they started getting jittery and informed their superiors because they thought they might have an emergency.

At 2am they finally entered the washrooms in case the politician had collapsed but he had vanished. The security team searched for their boss in the club but he was not there.

They then telephoned Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo and his deputy Grace Kaindi and reported that their boss was missing.

The two police chiefs ordered a search until 9 am when the politician telephoned his security detail and informed them that he was ready to leave. He had gone to a room and had now returned to the bar.

A senator also shocked police chiefs in Nairobi when he wrote to the IG demanding that his male bodyguard be changed. He wanted a female security guard whom he had spotted earlier.

The police bosses wrote back to the politician regretting that he could not be given the female guard. He is now victimising the male security officer who has complained to his seniors.

Another policeman has written to his bosses requesting to be withdrawn from guarding a female MP who drinks herself silly. The policemen complained that they are forced to carry her from the car to the doorstep of her house in an upmarket suburb. Occasionally they have even had to carry her to her bedroom because she is too drunk to enter the house.



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