ODM accuses Ruto of misusing elite presidential escort guards

The public at the home of Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi in Kapseret, Uasin Gishu County, on September 12. Police had camped at the home to arrest Mr Sudi.

What you need to know:

  • Police said the three officers from the unit had gone to rescue Mr Sudi from his house with a Toyota Prado.
  • Detectives recorded that the two, Simon Siengo and Issack Dida were left in the MP’s house and arrested.
  • The third officer, chief inspector Ekiru is alleged to have fled the compound together with the MP, according to police reports.

ODM leaders have sensationally accused Deputy President William Ruto of facilitating the reassigning of his elite bodyguards to members of the Tangatanga faction whose security was withdrawn.

The accusations come as the Sunday Nation learnt an evaluation of the elite Presidential Escort Unit had been ordered after three were caught up in the drama at Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi’s home in Uasin Gishu County last week as police sought to arrest him.

Government sources, who spoke in confidence, told Sunday Nation that the President’s office and top security organs were concerned by how the members of the unit were alleged to have been involved in the Sudi saga.

Police said the three officers from the unit had gone to rescue Mr Sudi from his house with a Toyota Prado.

Three guns belonging to the officers were confiscated. Detectives recorded that the two, Simon Siengo and Issack Dida were left in the MP’s house and arrested.

The third officer, chief inspector Ekiru is alleged to have fled the compound together with the MP, according to police reports.

Kapseret sub-county police boss Francis Warui told the Sunday Nation that the matter pertaining to the presence of the elite unit’s officers at Mr Sudi’s home has not been concluded and those released can be rearrested.

State House spokesperson Ms Kanze Dena, however, did not comment on reports of an evaluation of the Presidential Escort Unit.

Government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna referred the Sunday Nation to National Police Service.

“Kindly contact police spokesman Mr Charles Owino,” he said.

Already, reports indicate that the trio attached to the deputy president had been summoned to the police headquarters where they were questioned on their role in the saga.

Mr Odinga’s confidant and National Assembly Minority Leader Junet Mohammed told the Sunday Nation that his party will ask Parliament to investigate allegations that some elite officers linked to Dr Ruto had been seen with MPs who were not entitled to that level of security. This, he said, was posing a threat to national security.

“MPs are supposed to be given security through Parliament because they are paid by the House,” he said.

Mr Mohammed, however, claimed the alleged reassignments were illegal and should be investigated, prompting his intention to raise the issue in Parliament. “He simply donates his guards to the Tangatanga MPs who have problem with security matters,” Mr Mohammed said.

Illegal reallocation

He claimed Mr Sudi and a Coast MP were beneficiaries of such “illegal reallocation”. Mr Mohammed called on the Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to account for every police officer in the field.

“We will pick up the matter in Parliament,” he said.

Mr Ruto’s spokesperson David Mugonyi challenged ODM to provide evidence before making the claims

“This question can best be answered by ODM by providing evidence,” Mr Mugonyi said, adding that the police in-charge of the department were better placed to handle the matter.

The Director of Communication in the DP’s office – Mr Emmanuel Talam – pointed out that the DP has “State security and not goons for hire”.

“The problem with ODM is that because they have goons masquerading as private security who are deployed to cause mayhem when needed, they think everyone else does that. The DP has State security,” he said.

He pointed out that police serving anywhere and anybody are deployed by the National Police Service and the DP has no role in that.

Mr Owino, the police spokesman, said he was not aware of the directive.

Keiyo South MP Daniel Rono, however, defended the DP over ODM claims, terming them as “hot air.”

Belgut MP Nelson Koech said the DP has no powers to transfer police officers.

Presidential escort

“Officers assigned to the DP are drawn from the presidential escort unit that has a commander. So ODM’s assertion is silly and simply politics,” said Mr Koech.

He went on: “Police or any officer for that matter have policies and guidelines on how to operate for any assignment and officers in the presidential pool operate on rotation basis around the presidency.”

The Presidential Escort Unit is established to support functions of the Kenya Police Service in accordance with Section 24 of the National Police Service Act, 2011.

They provide security and protection to the President, the first family, the retired Presidents and the deputy president.

They also provide security to visiting Heads of State and governments and to any other VIPs as may be directed by the Inspector-General.

ODM national treasurer Mr Timothy Bosire said there was need to pay special attention to the unit following the ongoing probe over the incident in Mr Sudi’s home.

“What started as in house political business is coming out to shake the very fundamental section of the society – national security,” Mr Bosire said.

jjochieng@ke.nationmedia.com