On Thursday, men from the General Security Unit (GSU), the special forces used to defend key state representatives, left Deputy President Ruto’s house in favour of the administrative police.

The GSU are special paramilitary forces of the Kenyan police composed of highly trained men. They were responsible for the security of the vice-president’s homes, while the Presidential Escort Unit (PEU) monitors the vice-president’s movements.

Vice-President Ruto’s press office said that no official communication, including reasons, had been submitted for the selection. According to Kenyan law, GSUs should the president, deputy and speaker of parliament. In contrast, police spokesperson Bruno Shioso said that this was normal procedure: it would serve to optimise protection of the area. 

Some observers have suggested a connection between the incident and the growing estrangement between Vice-President Ruto and President Kenyatta, which is now a real rivalry. In recent weeks, with the almost final demise of Kenyatta’s BBI project, of which Ruto has always been an open detractor, and in the run-up to the 2022 general election, the break seems irremediable.

Ruto’s communications manager, David Mugonyi, said he believes it is a clear attempt by Kenyatta to take revenge for his political departure. In particular, he would point out that in recent years, the Vice President has risked his life and therefore this move is even more dangerous.

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