NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – Azimio La Umoja One Kenya spokesperson Makau Mutua has castigated the purported move by the government to scale down Former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s security.
Mutua sated that the security guarantee for any former head of state should not be subject to a political vendetta in any democracy.
“The SECURITY of a former head of state/government — in America or in a banana republic like Kenya — isn’t a political matter,” he tweeted.
Details have emerged that the former president’s has been scaled down with high ranking police officers replaced with those of lower rank.
The seasoned lawyer warned that should anything befall retired President Kenyatta then the President William Ruto will have to bear the brunt of the move.
“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,” Mutua tweeted.
According to the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act, a retired president is entitled to guards for personal and escort unit, as well as “adequate security” at the rural and urban residences.
Previously, the law capped the number at 12 guards, but it was amended in 2013 to remove the upper limit.
Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome confirmed that security personnel attached to former Interior CS Fred Matiangi and former PS Karanja Kibicho was scaled down, because they’re no longer serving in government.
He described the changes as normal, saying former officials can’t enjoy the same security status as those serving.
“There is no politics in this. And the Inspector General will not accept to be dragged into politics,” Koome told a news conference Friday, describing the changes as “normal”.
The security was reduced on Thursday when those attached to former president Uhuru 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.
Officials said 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.