Kenya’s Minister of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Fred Matiangí, has revealed that Deputy President William Ruto and his properties are being guarded by 257 police officers, including four at a chicken farm.
Matiangi revealed this when he appeared before the National Assembly Security Committee on Wednesday to brief the lawmakers on securing the Deputy President.
The deputy president and his supporters had alleged the recent changes in the police units guarding Ruto’s official residence would undermine his security and were politically motivated.
But Matiangí denied they were political, explaining that the changes were “routine”.
He said that Ruto’s security is multi-layered with the inner layer, which is responsible for the personal security of the deputy president on a daily basis, having 121 officers from the elite Presidential Escort team which has remained intact.
The inner team is supplemented by five elite GSU officers and six DCI officers.
Also, two police officers were also stationed at an airport hanger to guard Ruto’s two helicopters.
Matiangi said layer two which is responsible for the physical building housing Ruto and offices including where he has interests has 121 officers; his private properties including Weston Hotels enjoy the services of a further 51 officers.
He said, “The second layer of DP security was rearranged and there was no removal. It is a mandate of the IG to do the rearrangements. Consultations were done before the move was taken. It was legal, strategic and openly done.
“Cumulatively, the strength of personnel allocated to the Deputy President is 257 officers. The number could even be more.
“We have provided sufficient security to the holder of the office of the Deputy President of Kenya.
“Contrary to the allegations made and in view of the tabled evidence, His Excellency the Deputy President is the most guarded in the history of the country in comparison with previous equivalent officeholders.”
Observers say the revelations would undermine Ruto’s rebrand as a “hustler”, identifying with poor Kenyans.
The Deputy President has fallen out with President Uhuru Kenyatta, with observers suggesting that their relationship has been strained because Kenyatta reneged on a deal to back his deputy to succeed him next year, preferring his former political nemesis-turned-ally, Raila Odinga, instead.
The deputy president is a constitutional role, meaning Ruto cannot be fired.
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