, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16 – The government has started implementing a new policy of scaling down bodyguards attached to VIPs, as part of measures to ensure proper utilization of law enforcement agencies.
Governors are the first casualties after Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet ordered the withdrawal of excess bodyguards attached to the county chiefs, leaving them with a maximum of five each.
Through his Spokesman Charles Owino, Boinnet says no specific governor is targeted after Nairobi’s Mike Sonko claimed that his security had been withdrawn.
The move follows an announcement, last month, by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi to rationalize security attached to VIP’s for them to serve other Kenyans.
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.