State withdraws MPs’ bodyguards over crime claims

The government has withdrawn the bodyguards of at least four MPs, three of whom are facing various charges.

MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Babu Owino (Embakasi East) and Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), who have pending criminal cases, have had their security withdrawn.

Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri, who was yesterday summoned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for questioning, has also had his security withdrawn.

SEE ALSO :Leaders react to Miguna’s travel woes

Mr Ngunjiri was questioned over utterances he made last week that were deemed critical of the president.

The MPs’ firearm licences have also been cancelled and they have been ordered to hand over the weapons to the authorities. It has emerged that more VIPs who are under investigation are targeted.

Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai (pictured) warned VIPs who do not abide by the law that they would lose their bodyguards.

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“It is the expectation of the service that VIPs who are accorded this privilege shall reciprocate by being law abiding citizens at all times,” said Mr Mutyambai in a statement read by police spokesman Charles Owino.

“To avoid demeaning the very essence of which the police is mandated, the National Police Service shall not provide security to VIPs who are involved or suspected to be involved in crime until they are cleared by the courts.”

SEE ALSO :Moses Kuria arrested for punching, kicking woman

Assault case

He added that VIPs who are civilian firearm holders shall have their licences cancelled and weapons withdrawn.

Mutyambai said police remain committed to the safety and security of all citizens.

Kuria was arrested last week and is set to take plea. He is accused of assaulting a radio presenter at Royal Media Services.

Jumwa was arrested last year after a man was shot dead at a meeting she attended in her constituency.

SEE ALSO :Kuria: I was arrested while recording statement at Kilimani

Owino was yesterday charged with the attempted murder of a DJ at B Club in Nairobi. He is accused of shooting Felix Orinda, popularly known as DJ Evolve, following a disagreement. Mr Orinda is still recuperating in hospital.

Yesterday, members of the National Security Advisory Committee held a meeting at the Office of the President.

The decision to strip the MPs of their security is believed to have been reached during that meeting.

Some of the leaders were surprised after receiving calls from their bodyguards that their security had been withdrawn.

“Anyone involved in crime will not be spared. It does not matter who he or she is,” said an officer aware of the new development.

SEE ALSO :Kuria to spend more time in custody

Each MP is entitled to at least one bodyguard. Besides MPs, governors and senators are also assigned armed bodyguards.

There are 12,000 officers assigned to various VIPs as drivers, bodyguards and even messengers.

Kenya has over 100,000 police officers. One out of every seven police officers is deployed to guard the elite, leaving only about 70,000 to meet the country’s policing needs.

A committee headed by former Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni had proposed that the officers be released to undertake other responsibilities.

This is in order to avoid situations where many policemen are underutilised by being deployed to work for a few VIPs. But the committee’s recommendations have been shelved.

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Moses KuriaBabu OwinoAisha JumwaSecurity withdrawn