In Summary
  • Mr Kibicho said the response of police officers was slowed by the ongoing Huduma Namba registration exercise that is being overseen by police officers.
  • Tetu Sub-County Police Commander Isaiah Odhiambo said the reports circulated on social media by bloggers and reported by one TV station were false and misleading.

The Interior ministry has said failure by the office of Deputy President William Ruto to furnish it with the itinerary of his tours across the country was to blame for the absence of senior security officers in some of his functions.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho further says that the allegations that the government had withdrawn security from a church function attended by Dr Ruto were false.

On Thursday, Dr Ruto attended a public meeting in Tetu, Nyeri County, but conspicuously missing were the senior county security officials, who always accompany him or the President whenever they come calling.

Mr Kibicho said the incident in Tetu was caused by poor communication between the Deputy President’s team and the police on the ground, who were informed when it was too late.

He said when police were informed, they rushed to the site and found that the function had already ended.

“There is no way anyone can downgrade the security of the Deputy President. It is not possible,” Mr Kibicho said in a phone interview with the Saturday Nation.

HUDUMA NAMBA

The PS explained that whenever top government officials visit an area, the practice is that word is sent in advance to the County Commissioners in the area, who in turn make the necessary arrangements and deploy security officers ahead of the visit.

Mr Kibicho said the response of police officers was slowed by the ongoing Huduma Namba registration exercise that is being overseen by police officers.

This further stretched the number of men available to respond to the call. “Officers had been deployed to cover the Huduma Namba registration, and when they learnt of his (Deputy President’s) arrival, they rushed to the scene but got there when he had already left. It was a brief function,” he explained.

Earlier in the day, allies of the DP had read malice in the delays of the police to arrive at the scene and argued that it was part of the pattern to limit movement of the DP, which has earned him the Tanga Tanga nickname — which means loitering.

POLICE REVAMP

The replacement of regular police officers with Administration Police officers has also taken a political dimension and has fuelled the rift within the Jubilee administration following the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga.

Mr Kibicho also defended the ongoing redeployment of VIP protection as part of the reforms passed by Members of Parliament.

He dared any politician without the requisite security protection as provided for in law to come out.

Security bosses have defended the realignment of the VIP protection for certain MPs allied to Dr Ruto, saying it was is part of the ongoing reforms that will see some Administration Police officers become the official bodyguards for politicians and top government officers including Cabinet secretaries, Principal Secretaries as well as MPs.

BODYGUARDS

The change is expected to free over 10,000 officers in the National Police Service to be deployed for other assignments.

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