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Uhuru sends out CSs to supervise legacy projects

By Kennedy Gachuhi | February 18th 2021

From left: CSs Najib Balala (Tourism), Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution), James Macharia (Transport) and Betty Maina (Industrialisation). They inspected the new Metre Gauge Railway at Longonot in Nakuru County on Tuesday. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Amid clamour for a referendum and succession politics, President Uhuru Kenyatta has dispatched Cabinet secretaries to secure his legacy development agenda.

President Kenyatta, whose tenure expires in 18 months, has constituted National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICCC) comprising Cabinet secretaries and Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU).

The top-ranking government officials have been asked to leave the comfort of their air-conditioned offices in Nairobi and visit project sites to obtain firsthand information.

On Tuesday, all the 23 Cabinet secretaries in different cohorts were deployed to four counties - Nakuru, Narok, Murang’a and Machakos - where the national government is undertaking development projects.

Although the Cabinet secretaries said they were inspecting development projects, pundits say the idea is to steal the thunder from Deputy President William Ruto, who has been at the forefront in launching government projects across the country.

Dr Ruto has been using the opportunity to market himself as President Kenyatta's preferred successor in 2022.

"The president has realised his deputy is capitalising on key development projects across the country to market his 2022 presidential bid. The tours by the CSs are meant to neutralise the DP and secure Kenyatta's legacy," Gitile Naituli, a professor of management and leadership at Multimedia University, said.

Philip Chebunet, a senior lecturer at the University of Eldoret, said: "The CSs have two briefs: one is to counter the narrative advanced by the DP and his lieutenants that the government had abandoned the Big Four agenda in favour of BBI and to market the BBI Bill."

Mr Chebunet said the CSs had not wasted any opportunity to speak about the need for the people to endorse the Building Bridges Initiative Bill in their meetings.

On Tuesday, Roads and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia was the team leader for a cohort comprising CSs Betty Maina (Industrialisation), Najib Balala (Tourism) and Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution), who were in Nakuru County.

The four inspected the ongoing construction of the Sh10 billion 24-kilometre Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) in Naivasha.

Sports CS Amina Mohamed led counterparts Joseph Mucheru (ICT), Simon Chelugui (Labour), Peter Munya (Agriculture) and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki in inspecting the Northern Collector Tunnel and Kenol-Sagana road in Murang’a County.

At the same time, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe was in Narok County accompanied by Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs), Farida Karoney (Lands) and Charles Keter (Energy) where they inspected the Sh500 million Narok Teaching and Referral Hospital.

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani was tasked with inspecting the construction of housing units for National Police Service in Kathiani, Community-Syokimau Road and Athi River-Machakos Turnoff Phase 1.

He was accompanied by Monica Juma (Defence), Sicily Kariuki (Water and Irrigation), George Magoha (Education), Keriako Tobiko (Environment) and Nzioka Waita (Head of PDU and State House Chief of Staff.

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