In Summary
  • There is a lack of clarity or proper policy on VIP protection.

  • But more importantly, is it really necessary for MPs and other leaders to get armed guards paid for by taxpayers on top of their own weapons?

  • If this VIP protection is so essential, then it must not be left at the whim of a few officials to grant or withdraw.

The Very Important Persons (VIPs) deserve some special protection by virtue of the status they enjoy in the society. However, it is the obligation of any government to protect all its citizens and their property.

The political VIPs are protected at public expense so that their lives are not endangered and the execution of their duties hampered. However, it is here that impunity and abuse are rife. Whereas anyone seeking a firearm can be licensed, the politicians, especially MPs, tend to have it much easier.

Many lawmakers are licensed gun holders and are also assigned armed security officers, either from the National Police Service or Prisons, and will have others guarding their town and rural homes. They end up being overprotected, with the officers who would have made a difference in the general fight against crime, including terrorism, crowding around the few elites, while the rest of the population is left at the mercy of criminals. But whenever there is a fallout within the political class, as is happening currently, we see the security personnel and weapons of some MPs being withdrawn by the government.

The National Police Service now says it will no longer provide VIP security to those involved in crime until they are cleared by courts. While this is understandable, it is also evident from the latest flurry of security withdrawals that some of the people targeted may not have been involved in any wrongdoing.

There is a lack of clarity or proper policy on VIP protection. But more importantly, is it really necessary for MPs and other leaders to get armed guards paid for by taxpayers on top of their own weapons? If this VIP protection is so essential, then it must not be left at the whim of a few officials to grant or withdraw.