Former Interior PS Karanja Kibicho has responded to reports that the National Police Service withdrew the security details of himself, former President Uhuru Kenyatta, and former CS Fred Matiang’i.
Kibicho speaks after reports of security removal for Uhuru, Matiang'i, and himself
Reports that security details attatched to Uhuru Kenyatta, Fred Matiang'i and Karanja Kibicho have caused mixed reactions.
Speaking to the press, Kibicho was nonchalant about the reports, saying that when he retired from his powerful position 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.
Uhuru, Kibicho and Matiang'i recently reunited to mourn the death of former colleague George Magoha.
According to local media houses, the security officers attached to the former state officers were scaled down, some being recalled to the headquarters.
Political pundits have claimed that the former head of state’s indirect involvement in active politics may have led to the move.
“If former president Uhuru has the hand of president Ruto to be a peace envoy in DRC, why would he engage in fanning turmoil in Kenya… If he chooses to be a politician then; Ruto is dealing with Uhuru accordingly,” said Ascon Kamili in a discussion on NTV.
“When Moi retired he literally retired from politics, when Kibaki retired he would not comment on the politics of the nation. On the other hand, Uhuru Kenyatta is still the chair of Azimio which is the opposition party of this republic,” Peter Muchendu opined during a breakfast show at K24.
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.
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.
However, the reports claim that Uhuru's body guards were reduced from 96 to 25, while Margaret Kenyatta had been left with five officers.
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