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10 burning questions on DP Ruto's home 'hawker' attack

By Paul Wafula | August 1st 2017

It is not every day that an ordinary hawker is able to lay an 18-hour siege to the home of the second most powerful man in the country.

The incident has not just embarrassed the security forces but has raised more questions than the Government is ready to answer.

As details keep trickling in on the attack, there is still more than meets the eye on the attack on the Deputy President's home at the weekend.

For a start, just how is it possible for one man carrying a machete to go past the gate, gain access to the sentry area, and open the armoury on the day Deputy President William Ruto had been at the house?

This question is a puzzle even to the average Kenyan on the street who does not have any security training. 

Reports indicate that the machete attacker was captured on CCTV cameras walking into the compound.

The first gate

Why did the policeman manning the first gate clear a man to enter the Deputy President's compound?

Was he carrying a weapon or did he pick it up along the way?

The other important question is: Why is it that there were only two police officers on duty at the gate that day?

The other question on the minds of Kenyans is why it took more than 18 hours to subdue a man who was later described as a 'hawker' by a team of some of the best trained men in Kenya's security forces.

Was the Recce squad given proper intelligence on who the enemy was or were they expecting to deal with a team of at least four well-trained terrorists?

Can an ordinary hawker, without any paramilitary training, manage to pull such a stunt? He seemed to know how to use the different guns in the armoury.

How was this intruder able to hold off the highly-trained elite squad the whole night?

The intruder did not stop there; he was able to change into the clothes of the officer he had killed and and for hours make police believe there was more than one attacker. A hawker?

Another important question is what exactly was the motive of the attack.

If he was not a terrorist, what really was his objective?

Why was the police quick to dismiss the possibility of a 'stage-managed' exercise even before the investigations had been completed?

The police and the Deputy President seem to have narrowed down the attack to an act of terror and not a robbery.

The top cop in the country, Inspector General Joseph Boinnet, swiftly denied this theory but went ahead to declare that his men were going to start investigations.

Why rule anything out before investigations are completed?

On such occasions as election time, it is highly unlikely that there would be a crowd of people in the compound of the Deputy President just a few minutes after he has exited.

Were there the other people in the homestead during the attack?

Reports indicate that there were many farm workers in the compound at the time of the attack.

Nature of the threat

This means that there were many people who would have helped police assess the nature of the threat and neutralise it without causing the force unnecessary embarrassment.

Local residents identified the attacker as a well-known hawker in area.

There was also CCTV footage that clearly showed that the man had not made it past the second gate.

 Conflicting reports

There were many conflicting reports, with some suggesting that there were four men involved in the attack. At some point it was even reported that the attackers arrived on a motorbike.

Why was there no actionable intelligence to help the elite squad deal with the threat swiftly?

And as the attack unfolded, Ruto went ahead with his schedule as if nothing was happening.

The attacker must have been at the home several times and must have been familiar with the officers manning the gate or was known by some people in the DP's compound, having frequented the area.

If indeed he was just a hawker, how was he able to conduct surveillance and know the security weaknesses of the Deputy President's home without being noticed?

Was he acting alone?

If such an attack can happen to the second most powerful home in the country, shortly after a principal secretary was abducted, just how safe is the ordinary Kenyan on the street?

Did the police kill a man who had simply gone to collect his debt and was mistaken for a terrorist or was this one of the biggest security lapses in the country?

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