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Matiang’i deactivates Twitter account after President Ruto is sworn in

By Hilary Kimuyu September 13th, 2022 3 min read

Outgoing Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Tuesday deactivated his Twitter account shortly after Dr William Ruto took the oath of office as the fifth president of the Republic of Kenya at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Dr Matiang’i’s official account, which had over 1.3 million followers, went blank on Tuesday afternoon and could no longer be accessed on the social media platform. A search of his account under the handle @FredMatiangi showed that the account has been deactivated.

“This account doesn’t exist,” read search results.

Dr Matiang’i was a vocal supporter of Azimio la Umoja Chief Raila Odinga throughout the campaign season, which put him at loggerheads with Dr Ruto, the former’s main political rival.

In September 2021, Dr Matiang’i rejected the suggestion that the then DP security had been downgraded. While appearing before the Committee on Administration and National Security, he termed the changes as a “rearrangement”, claiming that the exercise was routine and did not warrant the sort of attention it has garnered.

Also read: President Ruto lowers fertilizer prices by half

“The decision was not whimsical. It was consultative. Many considerations were made,” Dr Matiang’i told the committee.

He also pointed out that Dr Ruto was still guarded by a total of 257 officers, comprising personal security guards and those deployed at his properties. He claimed this was the biggest security team for a DP in Kenya’s history.

“There are a total of 85 officers who form the inner circle of DP’s security. 74 of these are presidential escort which forms the core of Ruto’s security… Apart from the 74 presidential escort unit officers, the DP has five GSU officers and 6 DCI as part of his inner security,” he said.

Again just days before the August General Elections, Dr Matiang’i responded to Dr Ruto’s claims that there were plans of rigging the elections.

“I agree with his excellency that Kenya has a shortage of fools and I think that applies more to some of those petty claims he makes than anything else,” the CS said.

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Dr Matiang’i said that he was not aware of any plot to rig elections as had been alleged by leaders allied to the Kenya Kwanza coalition, led by Dr Ruto.

He said it was petty for people to imagine that an institution that enjoys autonomy and protection by the law like Communication Authority can be used for primitive things like interfering with the internet.

“Sometimes in a civilised world these claims I find them too cheap and ridiculous to even think about and when they come from the mouths of senior leaders you don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” Dr Matiang’i said.

“We are not going to shut down the internet we are not going to interfere with social media. Why would we do that, Kenya has come of age.”

Also read: Matiang’i praises his juniors in farewell message but fails to mention Ruto

Last week, the CS bid farewell to his team in the security docket as he prepares to leave office. In a letter to departmental heads in the ministry and police bosses, Dr Matiang’i lauded his junior officers for what he termed as exemplary discharge of duty, taking account of achievement during his five-year tenure.

The CS also said he was humbled by the privilege to serve in outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet in four different ministries. Even so, Dr Matiang’i did not mention or congratulate Dr Ruto in his three-page message.

“As my tour of duty comes to an end, I exult in the pride of knowing that we have not only honoured expectations but exceeded them by important and evident milestones. History will vindicate out legacy,” Dr Matiang’i said.

“The dawn of a new administration is at hand. I invite you to take deserved pride in your role as security providers for supporting the delivery of the most peaceful election in Kenya’s history,” the message further read.

Also read: Ruto’s first order: To appoint 6 remaining judges of Court of Appeal