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Police officer shot in Laikipia banditry attack : The Standard

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A senior police officer based in Laikipia County has been admitted at a Nakuru hospital in critical condition after he was shot by suspected bandits on Wednesday night.

Sargent Samuel Mutuku, the officer in charge of Eighteen police post was shot on the stomach during an attack at around 12 am.

Over seven suspected bandits had raided the village and made away with 70 sheep when the incident happened.

He was shot during an exchange of fire with the bandits that also led to one of the attackers being killed by the police.

According to Nyahururu sub county police commander Geofrey Mayiek, he was shot as the officers were pursuing the attackers.

“He was in the company of other police officers pursuing the bandits who had fled towards Baringo County when he was shot. He was first taken to Nyahururu County Referral Hospital before he was transferred to Mediheal Hospital in Nakuru,” he said.

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He noted that one of the attackers was shot and died on the spot as his accomplices fled with the animals.

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“Our officers are still on the ground pursuing them. We are yet to recover the animals,” he noted.

Following the incident, local leaders led by Githiga ward MCA Peter Thomi and his nominated counterpart Irene Wachuka have called for the increased patrols along the Baringo and Laikipia border saying cases of such attacks had resumed.

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Kenya: Ruto Presser Amid Virus War Fails to Impress

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It was the question on everyone’s mind, but when he stepped out of his Karen office to address the media, Deputy President William Ruto left Kenyans puzzled.

Dr Ruto has since the ban on public gatherings maintained a studious silence as Kenyans battle coronavirus.

Apart from tweets, Dr Ruto appears to have turned – or been turned – into a lone ranger and is not part of the communications team on the pandemic.

He is not a member of the Dr Fred Matiang’i-led National Co-ordination Committee on Coronavirus Pandemic, which reports directly to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Of late, Dr Ruto has not attended meetings of the nine-member National Security Council.

Chaired by the president, the council has the DP, Cabinet secretaries in charge of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Internal Security or Interior as is designated, Attorney-General, Chief of Kenya Defence Forces, National Intelligence Service head and the Inspector-General of Police.

DESIGNATED SURVIVOR

The security council, the Constitution says, has the mandate to see and appraise the objectives, commitments and risks to Kenya. It is this council that has been making key decisions on Covid-19.

With Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i leading the team, it is apparent that Dr Ruto – despite his denials – has been sidelined.

At Thursday’s press conference, he offered a possible explanation by directing journalists to think about the “designated survivor” principle – the keeping aside of one key member of an administration who can step in just in case a calamity befalls the ruler.

“You may want to ask yourselves why the president and his deputy cannot travel in the same equipment at any one time,” he said.

In effect, that means Dr Ruto has been missing in action as a matter of arrangement than being sidelined.

“For the record, we consult… almost daily, with the president and the ministers carrying out various tasks in the management of this pandemic. And that is the position of the Jubilee administration,” he said.

NEW ORDER

Dr Ruto was not flanked by any member of the several committees on Covid-19. Paradoxically, the Health Ministry was at the time of his briefing preparing for a separate press conference.

That seemed to confirm that President Kenyatta has solidified the working of the administrative state, with the political wing taking a back bench.

The Covid-19 disease appears to have given Dr Ruto a political challenge and President Kenyatta a chance to finally test the administrative state – an experiment that has been in the works.

Already, Dr Matiang’i’s committee has been given sweeping powers to form ad-hoc committees to fight the virus.

Why President Kenyatta’s principal assistant and a key member of the powerful NSC has been missing in action was on his supporters’ lips.

Dr Ruto insisted that while he had not been seen in the meetings with the president or being on the frontline in the battle against the virus, he is in the know.

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POLITICAL OUTCAST

He said in the interest of keeping the physical distance being advocated as a measure against the virus, the government has started making use of teleconferencing and videoconferencing.

“The operation of the government is a preserve of the people in government; how we decide to communicate. We took the decision that this being a pandemic, all of us are going to read from one script. The president is going to take the lead and the Cabinet ministers in those dockets will do their jobs,” Dr Ruto said, evading the question about his role.

Before the emergence of Covid-19, Dr Ruto was out of the centre of power following the camaraderie between President Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga.

The president then asked politicians to concentrate on development instead of rallies, but Dr Ruto used tours guised as inspection of projects to sell his agenda with one message: “I am loyal to the president; it is Raila who has come to rock our boat”.