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DP Ruto dismisses speculation he is unhappy with Cabinet appointments

By Protus Onyango | Published Mon, January 8th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 8th 2018 at 09:56 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta with his deputy William Ruto at the Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi on 28th November, 2017. [PHOTO: JOHN MUCHUCHA]

The Deputy President on Sunday dismissed speculation about his unease over the recent Cabinet appointments.

Mr William Ruto, who was unusually quiet when President Uhuru Kenyatta was announcing the list of those picked, told off those stoking 2022 succession politics.

Ruto said his critics were engaged in 'useless political debates about positions' and stressed that President Kenyatta should be left alone to 'assemble the team for us', apparently dismissing reports questioning his absence at State House on Friday when Uhuru named nine Cabinet secretaries.  

Using his Twitter handle, the Deputy President urged Kenyans not to read too much in his role in forming the government but instead focus on delivering the Jubilee manifesto.

“Kenyans, more so Jubilee should avoid useless political debates about positions including 2022 and focus single-mindedly on delivering our manifesto voted for by the people while allowing the President the space to perform his constitutional duty to assemble the team for us,” Ruto said.

His spokesman, David Mugonyi, also denied claims that Ruto was upset with the way the appointments were made, pointing out that naming the Cabinet was the sole preserve of the President.

“The Constitution is clear about who appoints Cabinet. The Deputy President has no role in this and it is Uhuru who has the responsibility to choose whomever he deems fit to hold a particular office,” Mr Mugonyi said.

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He accused those dragging the name of the DP into the formation of the Cabinet of living in the past.

“This is not a coalition government where every partner has to be consulted. This is a Jubilee government led by President Uhuru. Those who are reading too much into this are living in the years of coalition government,” Mugonyi added.

The two were reacting to reports indicating that the Deputy President and his backers were furious about how President Uhuru was constituting his Cabinet.

Uhuru is expected to complete his Cabinet by naming those to fill the pending 13 slots.

Competing interests

Sources familiar with the matter said the President might take long to do this due to competing interests.

They indicated that when Uhuru on Friday retained six Cabinet secretaries and appointed three more to be vetted by the National Assembly, he was effectively sacking those he did not name.

State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the CSs who were not mentioned by Uhuru were still in office until a new Cabinet is formed.

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