Ex-Third Way Alliance officials sue govt over withdrawal of GSU officers guarding DP Ruto
Two expelled officials of Third Way Alliance have sued the state over the withdrawal of GSU officers guarding Deputy President William Ruto.
In a certificate of urgency filed before Milimani law courts, the former officials namely National Chairperson Daniel Muiruri Waweru and Deputy Party Leader Angela Mwikali want an order issued requiring immediate restoration of the GSU officers to continue guarding the DP.
"The IG is hereby directed to, with immediate effect, return to their stations at the official or private offices and residences of the Deputy President, officers of the General Service Unit who until August 26, 2021 were deployed to protect the Deputy President in terms of Chapter 8 Section 5 (e) of the National Police Service Standing Orders pending the hearing of the application," the two petitioners says.
The duo further want the state stopped from denying the DP use of official residence and office designated for him.
Through lawyer Elias Mutuma, Waweru and Mwikali want the courts to issue and order police from disrupting, dispersing, or in any way whatsoever interfering with assemblies, gatherings, meetings (public or private) or any functions (public or private) organised and or attended by the Deputy President.
They want the orders issued on grounds that the state's move to withdraw the GSU and replace them with Administration Police officers is against the constitution adding that the move will compromise the DP's security.
"Respondents have acted in blatant disregard of the law and the constitution and its actions continue to hamper the Deputy President’s performance of his constitutional duties and obligations to the detriment of the Kenyan public," the petitioners argue.
The respondents further argued that the move to withdraw the DP's security will also hamper the performance of his constitutional duties and obligations to the detriment of the Kenyan public. The GSU officers were withdrawn from the DP's home on August 26 following a directive from IG Hillary Mutyambai.
The move according to the petitioners has attracted public outcry and created unnecessary tension and anxiety amongst the citizens.
The lawyer also avers that the acts of Mutyambai have compromised and threatened the security of the Deputy President.
"That there is no reasonably justifiable reason for downgrading the security of the Deputy President in a society with an established constitution and other laws and where the Rule of Law takes precedence," Mutuma states.
He further adds that the petitioners are apprehensive that the illegal actions of the state are politically instigated and are meant to create a state of fear in the build-up to the general elections scheduled for August 2022.
The two further argue that Ruto is the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, a position he has held since the year 2013.
Throughout Ruto's tenure, the respondents argue that he has been guarded by a minimum seventy nine (79) police officers drawn from the elite G-company of the General Service Unit at his official and private offices and residences in accordance with Chapter 8 Section 5 (e) of the National Police Service Standing Orders made in accordance with Section 128 of the National Police Service Act, Cap 84.
However, on August, 26 2021 Mutyambai withdrew all General Service Unit officers at the official or private offices and residences of the Deputy President and replaced them with 31 officers from the Administration Police Service who are on a 12 hour changing shifts unlike the elite GSU who had been camping at the Deputy President’s residences .
The petitioners also believe that unlike their GSU counterparts, the Administration Police are not ordinarily trained on VVIP protection.
These, they said, is a continuation of several acts and omissions undertaken by Mutyambai to compromise the security of the Deputy President. They listed occasions when the police failed to take action for example in relation to an incident at the DP's Sugoi residence on July, 29 2017 when a gunman raided the residence and killed an officer.
They claimed that on January, 8 2020 the DP was locked out of his official residence in Mombasa by police officers.
On September, 10 2020, the two said, police refused and or failed to maintain order upon eruption of chaos prior to a function attended by the Deputy President in Kisii County.And October, 4 2020 the IG instructed armed police officers to violently stop the DP from attending a church service in Murang’a, the two said.
"Further, the impugned decision was made with a lack of consideration of the fundamental freedoms and rights not only of the Deputy President but also those of millions of Kenyans since a lapse of the Deputy President’s security has the ability to threaten national peace and order and bring shame, ridicule and dishonor to the office of National Executive comprising of the President, the Deputy President and the Cabinet, " the petitioners claim.