DP Ruto's ally threatens to impeach new Inspector General over withdrawal of MPs' bodyguards
Jacob Onyango|April. 14, 2019
- Senator Cheruiyot accused Hillary Mutyambai of being biased by taking away bodyguards of leaders close to the DP
- The senator gave the recently appointed IG seven days to restore the security detail of the affected politicians
- The affected leaders include Kiambu governor, Waititu, MPs Ichung'wa, Ngunjiri, and Nakuru senator, Kihika
- The four are close political allies of Ruto and have been campaigning for the DP's 2022 presidential bid
The move by the government to withdraw bodyguards of some of the Jubilee party leaders has evoked angry reactions from Deputy President William Ruto's allies who saw it as an attempt to muzzle and intimidate them.
The affected leaders, among them Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu, Nakuru senator Susan Kihika, MPs Kimani Ichung'wa (Kikuyu) and Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), have been campaigning for Ruto's 2022 presidential bid despite President Uhuru Kenyatta's directives against premature 2022 politics.
A number of leaders perceived to be also close allies to the DP and members of the now troubled team Tanga Tanga faction of the Jubilee party, on Sunday, April 14, weighed in on the security withdrawal and it was clear there were not going to take it lying down.
In his reaction, Kericho senator, Aaron Cheruiyot, accused the recently appointed Inspector General of Police (IG) Hillary Mutyambai of being biased by taking away bodyguards attached to the four Tanga Tanga squad members.
"To the new Inspector General, it is barely two weeks since we passed your name in Parliament. I want to tell you that the office that you are holding is apolitical. You are supposed to be politically neutral and not interfere with the politics of of Kenya," he said.
The senator argued the provision of security to the legislators is not a favour or a privilege extended to them by the state, but rather a right that is protected by the Constitution and which should be respected.
He demanded the IG restores bodyguards attached to Waititu, Ichung'wa, Kihika and Ngunjiri within seven days and that failure to do so could lead to his impeachment.
Among the four leaders, Ichung'wa and Waituti had confirmed that their bodyguards had indeed been withdrawn with no explanation given as to why.
Ichung'wa who was out of the country when the government took away his security detail was also quoted by Daily Nation saying the decision was a political move meant to intimidate and coerce him for working closely with Ruto.
Unlike Senator Cheruiyot, however, Ichung'wa directed his anger at the Interior PS Karanja Kibicho whom he accused of being responsible for the selective security withdraws.
The leaders' bodyguards were redeployed after the president issued a circular informing cabinet secretaries to stop attending public functions and instead focus on mass registration of Kenyans on the National Integrated Identification Management System (NIIMS).
The move came after the said four politicians held a fundraiser for traders in Nakuru where they called for removal of Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju accusing him of causing division in the party and undermining Ruto's 2022 presidential ambition.
Political pundits argue the security withdrawal could further widen the rift in the Jubilee party and cause tension between Uhuru and Ruto who currently appear to be reading from different scripts on a number of issues.
For instance, besides the ongoing 2022 politics, Ruto and his allies in the Tanga Tanga movement are seen to be fighting agencies charged with the responsibility of fighting graft.
The DP is also understood to be opposed to the March 2018 Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), popularly known as the handshake which was signed between Uhuru and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
On the other hand, Uhuru, and his allies in the team Kitaeleweka faction of the Jubilee party are seen to be more keen on implementation of the Big Four agenda; implementation of the famous handshake, and intensifying war on corruption.