, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 2 – Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo has told the House Committee on National Security and Administration that he withdrew bodyguards assigned to MPs because they require specialised VIP security training.
House Committee Chairman Asman Kamama said Kimaiyo told them a majority of the officers, mainly from the Prisons Department were withdrawn because they are not trained to perform VIP protection duties.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s police driver of 14 years was among tens of security personnel from the Prisons Department who have been recalled.
“When we talked he said the officers were recalled because the mandate of the Prisons Department is to provide security to prisoners and correctional facilities,” said Kamama.
Commissioner-General of Prisons Isaiah Osugo had earlier confirmed that all officers attached to politicians had been recalled following a directive from the Office of the President.
Others affected include CORD Senators Johnson Muthama, Otieno Kajwang’ and Janet Ong’era who were dispossessed of their bodyguards.
Kimaiyo is expected to appear before the House Committee on Security and Administration next week to explain the matter further, including reasons why security for deputy governors was withdrawn.
MPs had raised concerns that some of the officers had intimated to them that they have been recalled back to their main stations.
The police chief further said the move to recall some of the officers is aimed at helping them take stock of the number of officers on VIP security.
Kamama explained that the police chief and the government are working on a policy that will guide the specific number of people to remain on the VIP protection unit – including those guarding MPs, Senators, Governors and other big shots.
The government is planning to reduce the number of police officers deployed to guard VIPs.
“The VIPs will be given the services according to their needs. We cannot deploy all officers for the VIPs and leave the citizens without protection,” the House team chairman assured the MPs.
Kenya employs up to 40,000 police and paramilitary personnel.