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IG Koome explains why he recalled Uhuru's escort commander

The security changes caused speculation among Kenyans and disquiet in the opposition camp.

Police IG Japheth Koome explains why he recalled Uhuru Kenyatta's escort commander

Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome has confirmed the withdrawal of some members of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s security detail.

Speaking to the media on Friday, February 3, Koome explained that the National Police Service had replaced Uhuru’s security team leaders with those of a lower rank as stipulated by the law.

There is a presidential escort commander who is an assistant IG. Those other units whether protecting the deputy president or retired president must be of lower rank for command and control purposes.

The officer who was there was an assistant IG, I have recalled that officer to be given command and responsibility commensurate with his rank,” Koome said.

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He added that the security reorganisation was done in good faith and that any leader who has security issues to reach out to him.

"We can’t provide the same level of security to retired government officials and there are active CS’s who must be in the office by 6:00 am and leave at 10:00 pm," the IG said.

The security changes caused speculation among Kenyans and disquiet in the opposition camp.

Political analysts have claimed that the former head of state’s indirect involvement in active politics may have led to the move.

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Former Interior PS Karanja Kibicho also responded to the reports that his security had also been scaled down.

Speaking to the press, Kibicho was nonchalant about the reports, saying that when he retired from his powerful position, he resumed life as a private citizen.

First, in my entire time in service, I never had 18 security officers. Not even half of that number. Secondly, when I handed over office on December 5, I surrendered all government assets, including security officers and vehicles. Sasa mimi ni raia mwema without any need for personalised security,” he told a Nation journalist.

The Presidential Retirement Benefits Act states that retired presidents are granted protection through a personal security team and an escort unit, as well as sufficient security at both their urban and rural residences.

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The law once had a cap of 12 guards, but this was revised in 2013 to allow for an unlimited number.

Despite speculations on social media, it's unknown exactly how many security personnel have been assigned to the retired president, as the deployment is evaluated and approved by the minister for national security and the retired president together.

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