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Ruto allies call for Matiang’i, Mucheru resignations

By Judah Ben-Hur | October 28th 2021

DP William Ruto (left), and CSs Joe Mucheru (ICT) and Fred Matiang'i (Interior). [File, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto's allies have called for the resignation of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his ICT counterpart Joe Mucheru over claims that they are partisan and have pledged to rally behind ODM leader Raila Odinga who is eying the presidency in next polls.

Speaking at Ruto’s official Karen residence in Nairobi yesterday, the leaders said it was wrong to have partisan CSs who control the police force and ICT where the Communications Authority of Kenya is domiciled. They noted that the authority works with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in the coordination of elections.

“We cannot allow the people who are ministers in such critical ministries at such a time like this to be partisan,” said Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro.

“And if the president for whatever reason requires these two ministers to be in his government then he can move them to other dockets that have nothing to do with the elections,” argued Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.

The MPs were reacting to a meeting convened by IEBC on Monday that was attended by Dr Matiang’i, Mr Mucheru, Chief Justice Martha Koome, and other stakeholders on 2022 election preparedness.

“Mucheru and Matiang’i’s time has come to an end. It should never happen that people who are supposed to serve the public take sides. We cannot trust them, we don’t believe in them because they have already branded themselves as ODM,” said Kandara MP Alice Wahome.

“The people of Kenya cannot be comfortable and cannot accept an election that is being managed by people who are clearly partisan,” said Gachagua.

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua. [File, Standard]

However, the DP steered clear of the matter when he addressed the meeting with faith leaders from Murang’a county and instead focused on the politics of the economy and unemployment.

"We must fix matters to do with unemployment because it has forced our children to get involved in terrible vices in the society such as crime and drug abuse," said Ruto.

Speaking in Nyamira last Friday, Matiang’i declared support for the handshake and whatever plans of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila.

“I have now told you where I am. I cannot be where Raila Odinga and President Uhuru are not,” said the CS in Nyamira.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa defended the CSs decision to back the ODM leader stating that their mandate as members of Cabinet is to assist the President in the decisions he makes.

“As CSs we are the President’s workers. We are appointed to assist the President. if you have been appointed to assist the President, can you resist the President? If he says handshake between him and Raila will bring peace in the country then as CS we will join him,” said Wamalwa in Nyamira last week.

Early in the year, Mucheru publicly dismissed Ruto’s bottom-up economic model and termed his campaign strategy archaic.

ICT CS Joe Mucheru. [File, Standard]

“We have heard some people promising you analogue solutions as part of a new economic blueprint to bring you prosperity. I am a student of economics and I do not see how the successful economic uplifting of our people can be carried on with outdated solutions. We can and must do better than this,” said the CS.

In March, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya also attacked the DP campaign strategy stating that wheelbarrows will not help Kenyans.

In August, Matiang’i was on the receiving after he changed a section of the DP’s security detail and replaced them with Administration Police. However, the CS argued that the issue was politicised and the DP is one of the most guarded individuals in the country.

Similarly, President Kenyatta in August asked Ruto to resign if he is dissatisfied with the government.

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