'Withdrawal of police reservists in Rift Valley was meant to punish me,' DP Ruto says

'Withdrawal of police reservists in Rift Valley was meant to punish me,' DP Ruto says

  • The Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate said President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government’s move to withdraw the NPR back in 2019 in areas prone to bandit attacks such as Elgeyo Marakwet and Kerio Valley was politically motivated.

Deputy President William Ruto now claims that the government's move to withdraw National Police Reservists (NPR) from banditry-prone areas of the Rift Valley was a ploy to punish him.

Speaking during the Presidential Debate on Tuesday night, the Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate said President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government move to withdraw the NPRs back in 2019 in areas prone to bandit attacks such as Elgeyo Marakwet and Kerio Valley was politically motivated.

“I have deployed my personal resources to deal with that situation because I know it was a political agenda; the withdrawal of the National Police Reserve (NPR) was really an unfortunate act but because it was intended to punish William Ruto,” Ruto said.

“Never mind that many people lost their lives, is a real tragedy, but that is the nature of our politics in Kenya, unfortunately.”

Ruto argues that since he had been in charge of the operation in Kerio Valley to mobilise resources and ensure the security was deployed in the area, the government mistook the act to seem as if he was doing it on a personal basis.

The UDA boss pointed out that the disarmament of the NPR that occurred later under Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i's directive has been a contributor to the insecurity in the region.

“We had close to 5,000 police reservists, we had even moved forward to provide armoured vehicles to make sure we can follow the criminals. We had a plan but it was frustrating,” he explained.

“I am the one who had taken charge; I mobilised the resources and was there every two weeks. I mobilised the identification of the NPR and it looked like it was about me when it was not about me.”

In the same light, the DP alleged that the collapse of the multi-billion shillings Arror and Kimwarer dams project was also a move to injure him politically since they are located in the region where he hails from. He said that the government paralysed the operation to disadvantage his supporters.

Ruto claimed: “The Kimwarer and Arror Dams were cancelled intentionally to punish my supporters.”

In 2019, the government called for the withdrawal of National Police Reservists from the insecurity-prone areas saying that their firearms were being misused to further crime in the region.

CS Matiang'i, and Inspector of Police Hillary Mutyambai were later put to task by the Senate to shed some light on the disarmament operation.

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