NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 3 – The security personnel attached to powerful individuals who served under former president Uhuru Kenyatta have been scaled down, sources say.
The security was reduced on Thursday when those attached to Kenyatta and members of his immediate family members were also scaled down in a drastic measure that has sparked uproar online.
Leaders allied to Kenyatta said his security was scaled down to six just five months after handing over to his estranged deputy William Ruto who won the presidential election, defeating long-time Opposition chief Raila Odinga who enjoyed the establishment’s backing.
Reports indicate that General Service Unit (GSU) officers attached to Kenyatta and members of his immediate family, including his mother Mama Ngina were recalled and only a few left.
The same is said to have happened to influential officials who served in his cabinet, including Matiangi who wedged a ruthless campaign to stop Ruto from ascending to power.
Matiangi and Karanja Kibicho were always on crossroads with Ruto when he served as Deputy President, often scaling down his security and publicly telling him off as he sharpened his ambitions to succeed Kenyatta in elections.
The two officials were only left with two security personnel each, having left office with more than ten, according to government sources familiar with the allocations.
There was no immediate comment from the government even as criticism piled up, with leaders saying Kenyatta’s security is guaranteed by law.
“The security of a former head of state/government — in America or in a banana republic like Kenya — isn’t a political matter. It’s about the security of the state itself. Should harm befall a former head of state/government, there would be hell to pay. My two cents,” Odinga’s Spokesman Prof. Makau Mutua tweeted.
Kenyatta and Ruto were elected overwhelmingly voted in but fell out during their second term in office when the president invited the Opposition leader into government after months of political unrest stemming from vote-rigging claims.