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Secret calls that led to removal of Ruto's elite GSU security team

POLITICS
By Standard Reporter | August 28th 2021

The decision to withdraw the officers was reached as early as last Saturday. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Fresh details have emerged of behind-the-scenes activities, high-level consultations, tactics and calls that led to the replacement of Deputy President William Ruto’s elite security guards.

The details came on the day Ruto's Chief of Staff Ken Osinde wrote to Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai, demanding an official explanation and reinstatement of General Service Unit (GSU) officers.

On Thursday, Mutyambai announced that GSU officers manning the DP’s Karen official residence as well as his private homes had been replaced with officers from the Administration Police in what he described as normal changes.

Officers from the AP’s Security of Government Buildings Unit will now be responsible for security management at the DP’s residence and homes.

Ruto, through his spokesman David Mugonyi, protested the changes and announced that he had written to the IG seeking an explanation. In the letter by Amb Osinde seen by The Saturday Standard, the DP's aide referred to a call Mutyambai made to the security officer in charge of the GSU unit in DP's Karen residence.

"You have attempted to mislead the public by incorrectly stating that the AP have been deployed to the DP's residence to provide the security of the buildings. The law is expressly clear that the GSU is mandated to guard the DP residence. Chapter 8, Section 5 of the Police Service Standing Orders 2017 sets out the responsibilities of the commandant of the GSU to include security of the president, DP, state house and lodges," he wrote.

Yesterday, The Saturday Standard reliably learnt that the decision to withdraw the elite GSU officers from the DP’s residence was reached as early as last Saturday. On that day, a senior police commander spoke to a Nairobi-based radio station, saying he had instructed his officers to arrest anybody found contravening Covid-19 mitigation measures, including top politicians or government officials.

GSU officers manning DP Ruto’s Karen official residence as well as his private homes were replaced with officers from the AP. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

His statement did not name any individual, but the officer later received a call from a senior official within the DP’s security circle, seeking clarity on the new directive issued to all police chiefs in Nairobi. A security brief had already pointed that the DP’s residence in Karen was teeming with delegations from across the country contrary to protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health.

The Karen meetings had to be stopped, according to the sources. On that day, the DP was in his residence with a delegation of leaders from Nyeri County. With this information, the sources said, Ruto’s security officials are said to have notified their boss of the new directive.

The sources said the police bosses in Nairobi had threatened to storm the residence should the directive not be adhered to. The following day, August 22, the DP did not host any guests at his residence. He instead travelled to Kirinyaga where he attended a service at ACK St Luke Wanguru Church in Mwea.

On Twitter, Ruto announced that he was in the company of more than 10 politicians, among them Kirinyaga Woman Representative Wangui Ngirichi, Kandara MP Alice Wahome, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro and Didmus Barasa of Kimilili. Others present were Mary Seneta (Kajiado Woman Representative), Sylvanus Osoro of South Mugirango, Aisha Jumwa of Malindi and Rigathi Gachagua of Mathira.

Security officers at the official residence of the Deputy President. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Even after returning to his residence, more pressure was piled on the security chief over the new directive to end the Karen meetings, which picked up in earnest earlier this week. At this point, the security chiefs felt that the DP’s security aide had not dealt with the matter well, according to sources.

This was followed by high-level calls to the GSU headquarters where reports on the issue were made.

A call from GSU headquarters, Ruaraka, to the security chief in Karen on Tuesday sealed the fate of GSU officers attached to Ruto. Osinde's letter to Mutyambai yesterday gave a catalogue of security incidents involving the DP, and ended with a warning to the IG:

"This office will hold you personally responsible should any harm befall the person of the DP, or any member of his family."

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