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Ruto ally's security team withdrawn

Tuesday January 21 2020

Bahati MP Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri

Bahati MP Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri. PHOTO | FRANCIS MURETHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ERIC MATARA
By ERIC MATARA
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Vocal Bahati Member of Parliament and Deputy President William Ruto's key ally in the South Rift, Mr Kimani Ngunjiri, has had his security team withdrawn by the government.

The Bahati MP's firearm licence has also been cancelled, with Mr Ngunjiri surrendering his hunting rifle at a police station.

He said his bodyguard was asked to report to Nairobi by 2 pm Tuesday.

The lawmaker was grilled for about an hour at the regional Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) offices in Nakuru town before he surrendered his shotgun.

Addressing the press at the DCI offices, Mr Ngunjiri claimed he was being intimidated because he supports DP Ruto.

“I know my security and firearm have been withdrawn to silence me, but l will not be intimidated by the government. My bodyguard has been withdrawn and recalled to Nairobi,” said the outspoken lawmaker.

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The move comes just a day after the National Police Service said it will no longer provide VIP security to State officers who are involved in crime until they are cleared by the courts.

The MP had last week claimed that some government officials were frustrating the deputy president and that they had conspired to kick him out of his newly renovated official residence in Mombasa.

Nakuru County Police Commander Stephen Matu confirmed that the MP had surrendered his gun, but declined to comment on any link between withdrawal of his security and the remarks made about DP Ruto.

“It is true, the MP has on Tuesday surrendered his gun as he was directed on Monday," said the police boss without giving details.

However, a senior DCI officer revealed to the Nation that the MP was questioned over his remarks last week and had recorded a statement.

"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 The gun was withdrawn because he is under investigation, per the directive of the Inspector-General of Police," said the source.

DCI officers in Nakuru summoned the legislator on Monday and informed him of the decision to revoke his firearm licence.

The MP now joins a growing list of leaders whose security teams have been withdrawn and gun licences cancelled following yesterday's directive by Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai.

Those affected include Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) and Babu Owino (Embakasi East).

According to sources, the list is set to grow longer as police intensify the crackdown on rogue leaders.