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Ruto: I would rather talk about security of ordinary Kenyans

POLITICS
By Kennedy Gachuhi | August 29th 2021

DP William Ruto condoles with the family of nominated Senator Victor Prengei during the burial service at Marioshoni in Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday told off people behind the removal of his elite security, saying he had no time to negotiate about his security.

The DP spoke as the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) condemned the move, accusing the police of being used to humiliate the holder of the Office of the Deputy President.

Veronica Maina, the UDA secretary-general yesterday said in a statement that the DP’s security detail should not be subjected to day-to-day politics.

Speaking in Molo during the burial of Victor Prengei, a Jubilee Party nominated senator, Ruto called on his allies to remain calm in the face of the challenges his political camp is facing.

“I am busy. I have more important work to do. How to transform our economy is my priority. Those gentlemen who want us to discuss power and security of leaders should just forgive me that I have no time. Before discussing security of leaders, we must discuss the security of ordinary Kenyans,” said Ruto.

“In 2013, we came to Nakuru and we entered into a peace covenant. All this drama you are seeing is seasonal. It will pass. We shall put it behind us in a short while,” he said.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui expressed dismay at the reduction of DP Ruto’s security officers, saying such matters should not be politicised. 

“Let us not politicise security. We should instead be enhancing security of our VIPs. This must be looked into, especially as we head toward the next General Election. All leaders must be given a level playing field,” said Kinyanjui.

DP William Ruto (center) with Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and other leaders at the burial of Senator Victor Prengei at Marioshoni Grounds in Molo, Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

He, however, cautioned leaders against making reckless remarks on the matter as that may threaten peace in the country.

Senators Kipchumba Murkomen, Aaron Cheruiyot, Ledama ole Kina and Susan Kihika, hit out at some individuals they claimed were behind the move.

Murkomen linked the security changes to Ruto’s stance on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

“I don’t know why they are bitter with the DP who had nothing to do with BBI’s flop. We urge the president to tell us one wrong the DP did to him to deserve this kind of mistreatment. We shall come to pay for it,” said Murkomen, the Elgeyo Marakwet senator.

Ledama faulted the Senate for not passing a law that would have made it impossible for the Inspector General of Police to withdraw security of MPs and other leaders.

“What is being done to Ruto will not end today. They stopped the passing of a law that would have helped stop that. They will continue unless they recognise and respect constitutional offices,” he said.

Molo MP Kuria Kimani called on the residents not to be drawn into political battles that may threaten peace in the region.

“Molo has always been known for tribal clashes. We are determined to ensure we remain united. Our differences in politics should not divide us even as we fight for our rights and space,” said Kimani.

Kipkelion West MP Hillary Koskey, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua and Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi said that the country was headed in the wrong direction as people in government continue to break the law.

Selfless leader

“Nobody is above the law and those in the Office of the President should stop acting as if they are the law themselves. We urge the president to get the country back on track and leave the country united and peaceful,” said Koskey.

The leaders eulogised Prengei as a selfless leader who will be remembered as the first senator to represent the minority Ogiek community.

Burial ceremony of Senator Victor Prengei at Marioshoni Grounds in Molo, Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

In a statement, UDA said as the clock ticks towards the August 9, 2022 elections, Kenyans will be more vigilant and united in support of the DP.

“The county coordinators have noted with concern the recent changes in security personnel at the residences of the deputy president. Let all know that the deputy president, unlike the previous vice presidents appointed by the president, does not have a letter of appointment; he only got a certificate of election from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC),” said the statement.

Maina spoke during a UDA retreat that brought together 47 county coordinators.

“The retreat was to allow us share our experiences and forge a united future as we continue to strengthen the party. The party continues to break its own targets of registering members. The county coordinators have resolved to work towards registering more members in their respective counties,” she said.

She said the county coordinators strongly associate themselves with the bottom-up economic model and have resolved to market it in their respective counties.

On Thursday, the General Service Unit (GSU) officers that guard Ruto’s official and private residences were replaced by Security of Government Buildings officers from Administration Police.

Ruto’s office protested the changes but the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai termed the move a normal police procedure in regard to protection of VIPs.

[Additional reporting by Josphat Thiong’o in Nairobi] 

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