President Uhuru Kenyatta enjoys the highest level of security as he executes his duties as the Head of State. The Presidential Escort Unit are tasked with his security as well as that of the First Family.
The aides are expected to adhere to strict code of conduct, and are also barred from indulging in certain acts as explained by Haggai Chogoi while speaking to Kenyans.co.ke. Chogoi is a security expert based in Nairobi.
The President’s escort includes detail leader, assistant detail leader, tactical commander, motorcade lead, advance lead, mobile agent, static agent and protective intelligence agent.
His personal aide de camp also follows strict rules and receives instructions from the Presidential Escort Unit Commander.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s motorcade
On July 6, 2020, Escort Commander George Kirera warned his officers against chewing miraa. Kirera explained that officers chewing miraa can pose health risk to state officials. The ban was necessitated by Covid-19 situation in the country.
“Some of the officers undergo tests and have to be clean from drugs at all times,” security expert Chogoi added.
Chewing Gum in Public
This is among a list of things which can damage officer’s image and attract scrutiny. Chogoi stated that the aides are taught on how to portray a certain image and are also schooled on public relations.
“They understand that they are guarding the President and other VIPs, and are expected to avoid things which create distractions, especially on state functions,” he adds.
Dressing in Civilian
The escort unit dresses in suits, with the aide de camp in his ceremonial uniform. The expert stated that those officers spotted in civilian clothes are drawn from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to beef up security.
“They dress in suits to match their level of professionalism and to also camouflage their weapons and the President at times, especially when he dresses in suits too,” Chogoi detailed.
The Presidential Escort Unit guarding President Uhuru Kenyatta at an event in 2018
“The bodyguards are poised to face disciplinary measures whenever they break protocol. They adhere to drills, schedules of the day,” the expert detailed.
Among the protocol are surveillance of the area, protecting the Head of State from close interaction with the public and receiving gifts for the President (in the case of the aide de camp).
Using Phone Calls at Work
Radio jamming and deception is a form of electronic countermeasure that intentionally sends out radio frequency signals to interfere with unauthorized wireless communications. The mobile agent is tasked with jamming frequency at events attended by the President.
This enables the aides to communicate in the same frequency. Guards use the provided frequency and using phones at work may interfere with communication and also disrupt their efficiency to provide security.
President Uhuru Kenyatta during his surprise visit to Dean Achesa’s workshop in Umoja, Nairobi on Thursday 17 September 2020.