Kenya: No Security From the House, Muturi Tells MPs Linked to Crime

22 January 2020

Parliament will not provide bodyguards to MPs whose security details have been withdrawn on suspicion of involvement in crime, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has said.

OBLIGATION

Mr Muturi, who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) that handles MPs' affairs, dismissed calls by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen to provide security to MPs who have lost their bodyguards.

"The welfare and security of MPs is in the hands of PSC, who should respond to this letter from the National Police Service accordingly," tweeted Mr Murkomen.

He was referring to a statement released by Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, who ruled out provision of security to any politician and senior government official suspected to be involved in crime. VIPs implicated in crime will also have their firearm certificates cancelled.

This is in compliance with the service obligation under the Constitution, the National Police Service Act and other regulations, the IG said.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Mr Muturi on Tuesday told the two legislators to read the PSC Act on what it states about the responsibilities of the commission.

"Read the PSC Act, which they quoted, to see what it says about the responsibilities of the PSC in regard to members' security," Mr Muturi said.

He also maintained that PSC will not pay any member who hires a private bodyguard.

In November last year, Mr Muturi told the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) he did not need permission from Parliament to investigate any member who commits a crime outside the House. He said he had no control of members' behaviour outside the precincts of Parliament.

The Speaker made the remarks when the committee on powers and privileges met DCI George Kinoti over an investigation into a sex tape linked to Wajir Woman Rep Fatuma Gedi.

"You don't need permission from Parliament to deal with a member who commits a crime outside there," Mr Muturi said.

PRESSURE

The development comes as pressure mounts on politicians under investigation over criminal activities to surrender their guns.

By yesterday, four of Deputy President William Ruto's allies had been affected amid protests that the move was meant to silence them.

Those whose security teams have been withdrawn include Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) and Babu Owino (Embakasi East).

The latest is vocal Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri, whose bodyguards were withdrawn yesterday.

The MP's firearm licence was also cancelled over his recent remarks that some government officials were frustrating DP Ruto.

'INTIMIDATED'

Last week, the MP claimed that some government officials had conspired to kick the DP out of his official residence in Mombasa.

On Tuesday, Mr Ngunjiri was grilled for about an hour at the regional DCI offices in Nakuru town before he surrendered his firearm.

The legislator claimed he was being intimidated because of his support for Dr Ruto.

"I know my security and firearm have been withdrawn to silence me. My only crime is supporting DP Ruto's 2022 presidential bid. I want to state categorically that l won't be intimidated by the government," he said.

The MP accused Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i of using the police to intimidate Dr Ruto's allies.

Nakuru County police commander Stephen Matu confirmed that the MP had surrendered his gun, but remained cagey about the reasons behind the withdrawal of his security.

INVESTIGATION

"The MP recorded a statement on Monday and was also grilled today over his utterances about DP Ruto's ordeal last week. The gun was withdrawn because he is under investigation as per the directive of the Inspector-General of Police," said the source.

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