Top Stories / National
Tuesday, 26 Sep 2017 10:15 EAT
In another sign of escalating political tensions in the country over the planned October 26 repeat election, the government today withdrew police protection for opposition leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka.
When Kalonzo first spoke of the recall of officers attached to him, the Deputy Inspector General of Police Joel Kitili said he was not aware of the decision, according to the Nation. But it was soon established that the police bodyguards assigned to the two leaders have been withdrawn and reportedly redeployed to fight terrorists in North Eastern Kenya.
Raila Spokesman Dennis Onyango has confirmed that the bodyguards of the two were recalled to the GSU camp on Monday evening. Kalonzo, the Wiper leader, also confirmed that his bodyguards were recalled yesterday evening. "The withdrawal of my security and that of Raila is illegal. The law requires presidential candidates to have an all-round security protection," said Kalonzo this morning.
Kalonzo's personal assistant Kelvin Kinengo said five security officers had been recalled to General Service Unit headquarters in Nairobi. ODM Director of communication Philip Etale also posted on his FB page that the security has been withdrawn. He even said that the officers have been deployed to North Eastern Kenya.
"Withdrawing Raila and Kalonzo security detail is ill-advised, backward, outdated and archaic to say the least," he said via Twitter.
Deputy Inspector-General Joel Kitili was quoted by the Nation online saying he was not aware of the officers’ recall, but Police spokesman Charles Owino confirmed their withdrawal, adding that the police commanders were scaling down the security details of all VIPs. "This is not withdrawal, its scaling down of officers to deal with the shortage of about 5,000 who have retired," Owino said.
Owino did not say the source of the order, but it was surprising that DIG Kitili, who is the principal officer responsible for Regula Police operations, was unaware. If the order had come from IG Joseph Boinnet, it would procedurally be implemented through DIG Kitili.
The decision by police to recall the security attached to the two came on the day Raila, Kalonzo and their allies were scheduled to stage demos in Nairobi to force out electoral commission officials accused of bungling August 8 presidential poll.
NASA particularly wants Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) CEO Ezra Chiloba and others who botched and rigged the August 8 General Election fired stating that they cannot be trusted to handle a rerun.
The Supreme Court on September 1 nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's victory, indicting the IEBC and citing enormous irregularities and illegalities. It did identify specific people.
NASA pledges it to boycott the rerun if it's supervised by Chiloba and 'indicted' secretariat staff.