Did the Italian PM wear a bullet-proof vest while meeting Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta?

Italian PM Matteo Renzi believes in the better safe than sorry brand of diplomacy.
Italian PM Matteo Renzi believes in the better safe than sorry brand of diplomacy.
Image: Reuters/Eric Vidal
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Over the last few years, Kenya has been a victim of some horrific terror attacks carried out in the main by Islamist terrorist group Al Shabaab . But one assumes that of all the places in the country, State House is probably one of the safest.

Not according to the Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, it seems. Apparently, while visiting with president Uhuru Kenyatta, Renzi did not want to take any chances.

In photos circulating online, it’s been suggested he may have been wearing a bullet proof vest underneath his rather impeccable slim fit suit when he met the Kenyan president on Wednesday (July 15).

The Kenyan tabloid newspaper The Star, tweeted this photo, mocking the “security starts with you” message, Kenyatta’s call to his country that is meant to ask Kenyans to take ownership of the country’s security.

“President Kenyatta could have suffered the ultimate embarrassment following reports that the PM went to State House wearing a bullet proof vest,” the local site Nairobi News writes.

Quartz has not independently verified the veracity of the images and both State House and the Italian Embassy in Nairobi have yet to comment on the speculation.

Renzi later gave a lecture at the University of Nairobi, where he talked about the importance of education in fighting terrorism. “I am convinced that if we want to destroy radicalism, the first step is to invest in education,” he said.

Kenya’s security is on high alert, even more so than normal, ahead of US president Barack Obama’s visit  later this month. The US State Department has issued a travel advisory warning against a possible attack in Nairobi. ”Large-scale public events such as this summit can…be a target for terrorists. US citizens should maintain a high level of security awareness,” the statement said.