Matiangi: Why should 20 bodyguards follow Raila to pressers?

September 28, 2017 11:49 am
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He says Odinga and his co-principals do not need 20 police officers while the security assessment doesn’t show they need them/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 28 -Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has defended the government’s decision to scale down the security detail attached to top NASA leaders – including presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

He says Odinga and his co-principals do not need 20 police officers while the security assessment doesn’t show they need them.

“Why should we give you 20 police officers so that you can loiter around with them from press conference to press conference; from the hotel to hotel, when they are needed elsewhere. What law have we broken? The Inspector General of Police deploys police officers to duty where they are needed!” the tough-speaking CS asserted.

He added: “for a long time, there are members of our society who think they are a law unto themselves; they think they have become a State in their own right. There is a government in Kenya as by law and we will do what we must do to safeguard the lives and property of people of Kenya.”

Matiangi says the decision was justified since there are other pressing security needs in the country that need police deployment.

“The downscaling of certain individuals’ government security detail stands. Our country’s security won’t be run on threats from politicians. The government will not provide personal security detail to individuals who want to use their positions to infringe on the rights of others,” he asserted.

Others affected by the move are Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his co-principal Musalia Mudavadi who have protested the withdrawal, saying it exposes them to extreme danger.

“The government’s resolve on security is unwavering. Anyone willing to challenge it can do so but will be met with the full force of the law. To those using their positions of power and influence to try and subvert the law, I have only one message for you; No one is above the law,” the CS said.

Matiangi further added that “the law will be applied without fear or favour with equal measure to all; including politicians who use their position to break the law.”

NASA legislators have demanded an immediate reinstatement of all the officers attached to them.

“We are dismayed by the decision by Jubilee to withdraw the security detail assigned to our presidential candidate the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga and his running mate Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka. This is a dangerous precedent in bad taste and we want to tell President Uhuru Kenyatta that should anything happen to any of our principals, we shall lay the blame squarely on his shoulders,” the NASA Parliamentary Group said on Tuesday.

This was also the reason why the NASA leaders failed to participate on Tuesday’s demonstrations against certain IEBC officials led by the Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba.

The protests are set to resume on Friday.

Matiangi says there is a security threat when police officers are attached to people bent on causing chaos. “In case they turn out to be rowdy (protests), “17 of them will be police officers…we have to be serious. These jokes have to come to an end.”

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