NAIROBI Kenya, Oct 2 – The Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo has asked all persons assigned personal security to desist from assigning their bodyguards other duties apart from the role of maintaining their safety.
In a speech read by Administration Police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi on Thursday, the police boss expressed concern that some people who are assigned security officers have been sending them on other duties, although he did not name a particular case.
Kimaiyo cautioned that this was exposing the VIPs to vulnerability or security lapses that may occur in such instances.
“Once an officer has been assigned protection duties, this officer will never and must never be assigned any other duty apart from that of protection,” he stated. “So that at any given time, this officer is able to answer to any incident and be able to respond but most importantly is able to cover the person who he has been assigned to.”
There are 6,000 police officers assigned to protect senior individuals in the country.
On their privacy, Kimaiyo said they must inform their bodyguards so that other security arrangements can be made.
“They know what is expected of them and the importance of ensuring that their charges are secured at all times…but for these officer to offer the basic security services and protection, there must be a strong bond between the protector and the one who is being protected,” he pointed out.
The IG directive comes after a series of attacks on VIPs, with the latest being in Kwale County where former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was attacked.
On Monday, while on a rally in Kinango an 40 year-old man stormed the meeting and attacked Odinga and Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, raising questions over their security.
The man walked towards the former premier and started attacking him using a walking stick as the leaders were dancing at the podium.
The man managed to hit both Odinga and Mvurya with the stick before he was subdued and whisked away by bodyguards.
In another instance, a man wielding a machete was shot dead as he attempted to attack Ndia MP Stephen Ngare. The man was shot dead by the MP’s bodyguard who sustained injuries alongside a school head teacher.
Kimaiyo also explained that all officers permitted to address journalists should do so only at scenes of crime but notes that all other follow- up information will be received from his office.
He said this was prompted by the need to disseminate uniform information to members of the public who are sometime fed with conflicting details.