President Uhuru Kenyatta has rattled two rebel MPs and a governor allied to Deputy President William Ruto by ordering the immediate withdrawal of their security details.
The presidency issued a circular to all Cabinet Secretaries to stop going to events and instead lead a mass registration of the National Integrated Identity Management system (NIIMS) dubbed ‘Huduma Namba’ starting Monday, April 15.As soon as the circular was issued, the security detail of a number of elected leaders allied to the DP were withdrawn.The first casualties were Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, MPs Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu) and his Kandara counterpart Alice Wahome.
Ichung’wa confirmed his security withdrawal, adding that he had not been told the reasons. “Ask them what do they want to do with my family while I am away. They are being told its orders from above in the PS’s office,” said the MP who is out of the country on official duty.He directed his woes to the doorstep of Interior PS Karanja KIbicho.Waititu also confirmed his security was withdrawn although no explanation was offered.National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai told Standard no member reported the matter to him.
On Ichung’wa he said, “I am not aware. He has been out of the country on official duty.”An MP is entitled to one bodyguard who accompanies them wherever they go.There are cases where some MPs have police officers guarding their homes even when they are away. Security sources disclosed that despite a policy requiring the MPs to only have one security, others have up to five.Immediate former Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett is said to have been pressurised into allocating additional officers to specific politicians.
“Officers were haphazardly allocated to politicians to entice them to remain defian, based on how close they were with the powers that be. A senior politician could put a case to Boinett on behalf of the MPs,” a confidant privy to the happenings said.National Assembly National Security and Administration chairman Paul Koinange (Kiambaa) said it is in order to redeploy officers who have been assigned to politicians’ over and above the allowed number.“MPs should give genuine security reasons why they should have additional VIP officers. Some have between four and five. These VIP officers should be withdrawn and redeployed to protect Kenyans,” said Koinange, who argued that despite being the chair of a powerful committee, he has none.He instead urged new IG Hillary Mutyambai to redeploy the officers to guard banks and other high-risk installations.“If our officers are mainly VIP security we will never get enough to serve wananchi.”
Insiders aware of the latest development, informed the Saturday Standard the President is unhappy with the conduct of some state and public officers, who have continuously engaged in premature 2022 campaigns.The leaders complaining of withdrawn security have been accompanying the DP on his countrywide engagements, publicly rebuking the work of the investigating and prosecuting agencies and pledging their undivided support for his 2022 presidential ambition.The President is also reported to have taken a firm stand on the upcoming by-election that has seen heightened activities recently, with Dr Ruto taking credit for successfully negotiating the withdrawal of ODM candidate Prof Yusuf Elmi.“The withdrawal of security is tactical. We are targeting the Mt Kenya heavy weights who had dared the President. Let us see how they will continue playing on the opposite side when the privileges enjoyed have been taken away,” said a political from Central Kenya.
By Roselyne Obala