Raila Odinga, NASA presidential candidate and ODM party leader has asked for his bodyguards to be increased from 16 to 50. His request was however shut down by the Inspector General of police, Joseph Boinnet.
The IG, rejected the request saying that Raila has adequate security, and does not see the need for more.
The former Prime minister is said to have also asked the government for an additional 11 new cars.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has about 100 police officers from the elite Recce Squad of the paramilitary General Service Unit. His Deputy William Ruto is also guarded by the same elite unit, and has about 50 police officers attached to him.
In a letter to the IG dated May 23, Raila, through his Spokesman Dennis Onyango, asked that his security detail be expanded because those guarding him are ‘under strength’.
Raila wants one officer in the rank of Superintendent, one Chief Inspector, two Inspectors, two Sergeants, four Corporals, and 24 Police Constables. He has also asked for one Mercedes Benz, four four-wheel-drive vehicles and six saloon cars.
“Of the six saloon cars, two will be assigned to chase cars (one front and one rear), two will be in the advance team, one will be in Nairobi for use in the deployment of officers and the other to remain in Nairobi for escort on his return when he flies out.
“Of the four 4WD vehicles, one will be in the convoy for Hon Odinga’s use, one in the advance team and one to wait in Nairobi to receive him on return when he flies,” said Raila’s team in the letter.
The 16 constables, who are not drivers, according to Raila, will be deployed to provide security to his homes in Nairobi, Kisumu, Bondo and his private office on Capitol Hill, Nairobi.
“The need to have an officer of the rank of Superintendent as in-charge of the detachment is to create effective supervision and discipline in the team as well as proper liaison with the police establishment for administrative and operational matters. This will include accountability and timely processing of the officers’ travel allowances when they travel outside their stations. The officer will be deputized by the Chief Inspector. The two Inspectors to be each in-charge of the escort teams (one immediate and the other advance),” said Raila.
Currently, the former PM enjoys the protection of 16 police officers, who are also deployed to guard his homes in Karen, Bondo and the Capitol Hill office.
He also wants police officers assigned to guard him while travelling on his campaign trips.
“An audit of the current strength of the personnel and vehicles provided for Hon Odinga’s security against the fact that he is now a presidential candidate indicates serious inadequacy, hence the purpose of this letter asking for the review and revamp of the number of both personnel and vehicles assigned to Hon Odinga’s security,” Raila said.
Currently, Raila is guarded by 10 GSU officers, two regular police officers, two AP officers and two drivers from the Prisons department.
The IG on May 28, five days after receiving the request, wrote back and informed Raila that his request for additional security and vehicles could not be honoured. Boinnet told Raila that he already has more policemen than what he is entitled to, sources privy to the communication told the Star yesterday.
He asked the former PM to refer to the Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officers) Act, No 8 of 2015.