Uhuru's security: Withdrawal of GSU officers elicits debate
- Unconfirmed reports indicate the former Head of State and his extended family had 119 security officers attached to them.
- The Presidential Benefits Act stipulates that a retired president gets VIP security with six security officers, subject to approval by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration.
Politicians and commentators have weighed in on the reported withdrawal of government-issued security attached to the former Head of State Uhuru Kenyatta and members of his extended family.
While some welcomed the whittling down of the number of General Service Unit officers, others expressed concern saying it poses a security risk to members of the former first family.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that the GSU officers were recalled on Thursday morning for redeployment. Though there has been no official confirmation of the reports, social media has been awash with news of the withdrawal, with former first lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta reportedly "stranded" in Mombasa after the abrupt recall.
The Presidential Benefits Act stipulates that a retired president gets VIP security with six security officers, subject to approval by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration.
His rural and urban homes are also accorded security.
Former President Kenyatta reportedly had 119 security officers attached to him. The Interior CS Prof. Kithure Kindiki has not confirmed this information.
"The security of a former head of state/government — in America or in a banana republic like Kenya — isn’t a political matter," law scholar and political affairs commentator Prof. Makau Mutua say. "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."
If confirmed, the withdrawal of the security officers may be construed in some quarters as "vendetta" against the former Head of State.
On August 26, 2021, elite GSU officers assigned to the official residence of the then Deputy President William Ruto were recalled and replaced with Administration Police officers.
"Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath," Siaya Governor James Orengo evokes the Holy Writ.
"Governor as a senior counsel you want a retired state officer to enjoy state resources?" Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said in a reply to Orengo. "Downscaling of security is a standard procedure he is only entitled to four security officers."
Embakasi East MP Babu Owino insists that the said withdrawal of the officers is an Uhuru-Ruto ploy to hoodwink Kenyans.
"The duo shall not hoodwink us this time round.We are wiser....Uhuru wants Baba to confide in him as he confides in Ruto. Shameless," he claimed.
1 day ago
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