Historic Moment: President-Elect William Ruto’s Security Beefed Up
On Monday, August 15, a historic moment in Kenya unfolded after outgoing Deputy President William Ruto was declared the president-elect by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman, Wafula Chebukati at the Bomas of Kenya, after garnering 7,176,141 votes ( 50.49 per cent).
Immediately after Chebukati’s announcement, the security of the president-elect was beefed up. Presidential Escort Unit officers will also be assigned to guard him, his homes and family members as outlined in the National Police Service Act, 2011.
According to the Act, 200 officers will be attached to the president-elect while another 45 will be linked up with the deputy president-elect, Rigathi Gachagua.
Initially, the four presidential candidates were given police officers for their protection, but Ruto enjoyed the fortunes of incumbency.
This is after Inspector General of Police, Hilary Mutyambai, set aside over 200 officers drawn from the Kenya Prisons Service, Kenya Police, Administration Police and General Service Unit (GSU) to protect the candidates.
The Presidential Escort Unit is mainly composed of the Joint Operational Command (JOC) – a centre that brings together all stakeholders tasked with the provision of security services to the presidency.
The officers are mainly drawn from the elite Recce company as well as the General Service Unit (GSU). The highly trained officers undergo an intense paramilitary training program before being deployed to the GSU Guard G Company.
Once the program is complete, the officers are attached to different levels including firearm handlers, defensive drivers, explosive experts, intelligence officers, snipers and combat leads.
As seen on most occasions, when the Head of State or his deputy is in transit, the motorcade is often marked by a fleet of high-end vehicles creating a wedge formation in order to shield the person of interest from any danger. The formation, however, occasionally changes.
Leading the pack, are the riders who aid in clearing traffic for the motorcade. Their pace often dictates the pace of the motorcade, as they scout around covertly for any potential danger.
Functions of the Presidential Escort Unit (PEU)
According to section 24 of the NPS Act, 2011, the PEU supports the Kenya police service by providing security and protection to the president and his deputy, the First Family, retired presidents and visiting Heads of State and Governments.
They also provide security to any VIP upon instructions by the Inspector-General.