Sonko, Babu to lose guns in fresh police crackdown

Three Jubilee MPs have confirmed their security has been withdrawn in ongoing purge

In Summary
  • Those affected include Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and his Bahati counterpart Kimani Ngunjiri 
  • The list is expected to grow longer as police intensify crackdown
IG Hillary Mutyambai during the commissioning of the new senior police officers' houses at Athi River police station
DIRECTIVE: IG Hillary Mutyambai during the commissioning of the new senior police officers' houses at Athi River police station

Governors and MPs facing graft allegations will lose their security detail following a directive by Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai.

The new directive means all Governors, MPs and any other leaders with state security who are facing criminal prosecution – graft related or otherwise – will have to seek alternative security and do without firearms.

The announcement triggered panic among the political elite as leaders "suspected to be involved in crime" will also be affected.


By yesterday, MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto were the major casualties of the new order, amid protests it was another calculated move to silence the DP's backers.

The move is likely to escalate tension in the ruling coalition that has lately been roiled by vicious infighting.

At least three Jubilee MPs confirmed that their security had been withdrawn in the ongoing purge announced by Mutyambai.

These include Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and his Bahati counterpart Kimani Ngunjiri.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, another key Ruto ally, who is facing murder charges also reportedly had her security withdrawn.

The list is expected to grow longer as police swing into action.

“To avoid compromising and demeaning the very essence which the police is mandated, the NPS shall not provide security details to VIP who are involved or suspected to be involved in crime until they are cleared by the courts,” Mutyambai said in a statement.


"Those VIPs who are civilian firearm holders shall have their certificates cancelled and weapons withdrawn."

Embakasi East MP Babu Owino who was remanded yesterday for one week is also expected to join the list of VIPs whose security will be withdrawn.

The MP was charged with the attempted murder of Felix Odhiambo, commonly known as DJ Evolve, at B-club on Friday last week.

By yesterday, the Star could not confirm if Owino’s security had been recalled.

Among the big fish facing charges and whose security is likely to be withdrawn are governors Mike Sonko (Nairobi), Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu), Ferdinand Watititu (Kiambu) and Okoth Obado (Migori).

Also in the list are MPs Innocent Obiri (Bobasi), David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East) and John Waluke (Sirisia).

  According to Mutyambai, it is their expectation that the VIPs who are accorded a security privilege should reciprocate by being law abiding at all times.

“We wish to reiterate that the service remains committed to the safety and security of all citizens and encourages all persons to continue working with the police towards this end,” he added.

The IG maintained that the service will continue to “diligently provide close protection and VIP security” as a crucial part of its mandate.

 Cherargei yesterday told the Star his security detail was withdrawn soon after Mutyamabai issued the statement.

The legislator said he was called to be informed that he would not be issued with a firearm though the process of him acquiring one was almost complete.

“I do not mind as long as there is the people and God to take care of me. They can keep their weapons and security officers,” he said.

Cherargei further accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of taking the country back to the dark days when people with opposing views were targeted by the government.

“Uhuru is taking us back to the Kanu era. The days of intimidating and harassing those who were not in agreement with the leadership. Kenyans are being killed in North Eastern but the government is busy withdrawing security from certain leaders,” he lamented.

The senator further accused Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i of misusing his powers by targeting a certain group of people.

“We have the BBI and at the same time they are intimidating and blackmailing us to support it. Matiang’i has become the BBI Cabinet Secretary,” he added.

Cherargei further said MPs will consider establishing Parliament police, which will work in a similar manner as the diplomatic police. “This is because anytime you disagree with them, the first thing they do isto withdraw the security,” he added.

Moses Kuria dismissed the IG’s order saying the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) Bill assented to by the President last year put MPs’ security under the commission and thus he will address his issues with PSC.

“It is the responsibility of PSC to provide security to MPs. Anyway, why are people only keen on MPs’ security when millions of Kenyans are mugged everyday?” posed the lawmaker when he addressed journalists at Parliament buildings.

Nairobi county director of communications Elkana Jacob yesterday told the Star they were yet to receive communication from any government agency withdrawing Sonko’s bodyguards.

“We have not received any communication from any government agency withdrawing security detail of my boss. If we get any detailed communication we will act upon it,” Jacob said on phone.

“Is it our security details which guarantee security or our security comes from Almighty God?”

John Waluke, another DP ally facing charges of irregular payment to his company by NCPB, dismissed the IG’s order saying he was not worried.

“Mine has not been withdrawn but even if they go ahead it is still okay. I am not worried, in any case I usually walk around minus my security detail,” Waluke said on phone.

However, some of the leaders claim the move is meant to cow DP Ruto’s allies, something that is likely to escalate the rift in the already divided ruling Jubilee administration.

Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri has accused the government of using the police to intimidate politicians who are supporting the DP.

Ngunjiri spoke on Monday after he was summoned to appear before the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters in Nakuru over last week’s assertion that DP was kicked out of his official residence in Mombasa.

"News that the DP had been thrown out of his office in Mombasa was in the public domain yet the detectives are asking me where I got the information," he said.

He disclosed that he was ordered to surrender his guns and the licenses which are to be handed over to the authorities today.

"I have had the gun since 1992 and I have never misused it. I have a feeling that the government is stripping off my security for a reason," he said.

Nominated Senator Judith Pareno said it was not right to withdraw the security of prominent persons who have been charged in court.

“Being a lawyer, I know everybody should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. Withdrawing the security would imply that the person who has been charged is assumed guilty even before the courts do their work,” she said.

Pareno said there may not be a link between the charge and the weapon or the security detail.

“I am not trying to defend those who have been charged with various offences but security is paramount to all Kenyans, even those who are in prison,” she explained.

Nyeri Town MP Wambugu Ngunjiri however rubbished claims that some politicians were being targeted, saying the move by the IG applies to anybody with a criminal case in court and does not target anyone.

“When I look around, the list has people from every side of the political divide. Unless someone thinks a certain side has more criminals than others. My understanding is that it affects anyone with a criminal case,” he added.

Ngunjiri’s sentiment was echoed by Jubilee nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura who dismissed claims of some quarters being targeted saying, "we cannot say generally that all those being charged belong to certain political orientation."

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