19 April 2018

Kenya: Government Reinstates Wafula Chebukati's Security Detail

The government Thursday agreed to reinstate Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati's security and drivers, two days after they were withdrawn.

The security detail of Mr Chebukati, and commissioners Abdi Guliye, and Boyu Molu were on Tuesday withdrawn --a day after commissioners Consolata Nkatha, Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya resigned from the beleaguered electoral agency.

"There are all indications that the security that was withdrawn is being reinstated to the chairman, and affected commissioners," IEBC communication manager Andrew Limo said in a text message.

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

The indication, sources said, was after the commissioners met a representative of the police unit that guards top government officials.

Mr Limo did not expound further, but with the assurance from the top police officer, there is a high likelihood that the officers would report to work Thursday evening, or early Friday morning.

"The withdrawal of the security is likely to expose the chairman and commissioners Guliye and Molu to security risk. The action undermines their effectiveness in executing the work of the commission," Mr Limo had said after the withdrawal of Mr Chebukati's security.

EIGHT BODYGUARDS

The obligation to provide security, over which Mr Limo said they had written to the Inspector-General, should be throughout the commissioner's tenure, and "ceases only when the contract expires."

Mr Chebukati has at least eight bodyguards at his disposal, a number that was increased after the murder of IEBC ICT official Chris Msando days to the General Election last year.

The IEBC chairman has three vehicles all driven by armed drivers: a lead car, an official vehicle, and a police chase car.

By last evening, it was not clear of the officers, with the others attached to his Nairobi and rural homes, and who had all been recalled, had all been reinstated.

The IEBC commissioners were also entitled to state protection.

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