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President William Ruto reorganises ministries to deliver his campaign promises

President William Ruto. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard] 

President William Ruto has reorganised ministries to drive Kenya Kwanza government’s agenda. While key dockets were hived off from one ministry and transferred to another, a new one was introduced.

The Cooperatives docket was brought back in a move the Head of State is banking on to implement his bottom-up economic model. The ministry was phased out during former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime.

It was initially introduced by late President Mwai Kibaki, as the Cooperatives Development and Marketing ministry, and was headed by Njeru Ndwiga and later Joseph Nyagah.

The President is now banking on the Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development ministry to deliver his pledge to small businesses, and has tasked CS Simon Chelugui with ensuring the traders access cheap credit, lower taxes and a friendly business environment.

During campaigns, Ruto promised to set aside Sh50 billion every year for the Hustler Fund. He also promised Sh100 million per constituency yearly for development projects.

“We will allocate that amount to the mama mboga, wheelbarrow pushers and cart pullers,” he said.

The East African Community (EAC) ministry will now be known as the EAC Arid and Semi-arid Lands (Asal) and Regional Development. This was after the Asal docket was transferred from the Devolution and Asal ministry that existed in Uhuru’s regime.

The absence of the Devolution ministry also spoke to the changes carried out by the new government. Its functions are now under the office of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who also apart from being the principal assistant to the President, will chair all committees of the Cabinet.

The DP will also oversee the implementation of Cabinet decisions across all ministries and state departments, and coordinate inter-governmental relations between the national and county governments, including chairing the Inter-Governmental Budget and Economic Council.

A restructuring was also witnessed in the Public Service, Youth and Gender ministry.

The Youth docket was moved to the Sports ministry, which will now be known as the Youth Affairs, Sports and Arts ministry.

The Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and Innovation ministry was also restructured to the ICT and Digital Economy ministry. Eliud Owalo has been nominated as the CS.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also reorganised to incorporate the Diaspora docket. After swearing-in, Ruto promised to establish the docket to address issues affecting Kenyan citizens abroad.

“The complaint has been that the diaspora has not received the attention they deserve. To correct this oversight, I pledge to elevate diaspora issues at a ministry level,” he said.

The Housing function was also moved to the Lands docket, now renamed Ministry of Lands and Housing.