, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 21- Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has defended the ongoing scaling down of bodyguards deployed to VIPs.
Governors are the first casualties of his directives implemented by the Inspector General of Police, with their security detail reduced to five.
Speaking during the handing over of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority end -term report, Matiangi said the government resources must be channelled to the right use.
“We have to rationalize the way we deploy our police resources in the country. There is no County Government official anywhere in this country that needs 26 security officers to guard you. We cannot move a police station to your office,” the Cabinet Secretary asserted.
“We cannot afford to do some of the things we do, which are sheer madness.”
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has protested the move, terming it as a sustained witch-hunt by a senior government official, but he was told that all governors were affected by the move.
According to reports, some governors had up to 20 bodyguards, straining the numbers of officers serving Kenyans.
According to United Nations, the acceptable police-civilian ratio should be 1:450, meaning if a State official has 20, about 9,000 Kenyans are on their own.
Kenya has a population of 45 million people and a police service of about 100,000.
During campaigns, President Uhuru Kenyatta claimed that the country had surpassed the United Nations recommended police to civilian ratio through aggressive recruitment into the service, but crime remains relatively high.
According to a service report released two years ago, one in every seven officers is assigned to protect the elite.
The situation becomes wanting during campaign season and elections when prison and forestry officers are called on to fill the gap.