Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome has said the decision to scale down the security of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta has been informed by a government policy that has existed for a long time and that nothing new has happened.
The IG who was speaking in Mombasa told journalists that the reorganisation was necessary so that the excess police officers who were guarding the former president can be moved to other areas where provision of security is needed.
Furthermore, he added that having an Assistant Inspector General commanding the security protocol of the former head of state was unsettling the overall police command structure. It means that Pepita Ranka who was a long-serving commander of Uhuru’s security when he was president has been moved.
“We have a policy that if you retire, the commander of your security is a Superintendent,” said Koome.
“The truth is we have a policy and I am not the one who put it there. The policy says that when you leave office, you get a certain amount of security,” said the IG.
According to the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act, a retired president is entitled a maximum of six armed guards. Sources from State House say Uhuru had assigned himself several times over this maximum limit.
What is raising eyebrows however is the timing of the government’s decision to restructure the former president’s security.
Uhuru and current president William Ruto have of late been having a war of words after the head of state accused his predecessor of sponsoring Azimio La Umoja rallies in order to avoid paying tax.
“Even if they sponsor demonstrations, there will be no escape; everyone must pay tax. I want to tell them they must pay tax, we are going to have a fair share of the burden of payment of taxes and raising revenue,” Ruto told MPs attending the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference in Mombasa on Monday.
The President claimed that tax cheats have been financing the opposition to slow him down on his efforts to get big defaulters to pay what they owe the government.
But in a rejoinder on Tuesday, Uhuru hit back at his critics terming them variously as noisemakers and idlers.
“ People who have nothing else to do will always make noise. And that’s life. We will just mind our business,” Uhuru stated in reference to earlier remarks by Wiper Party Leader, Kalonzo Musyoka, who accompanied him during the visit.