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Learning from the past: William Ruto defines roles of the Deputy President

President William Ruto at State House when he named the nominees to his cabinet. In the background, DP Rigathi Gachagua. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

President William Ruto on Tuesday revealed his list of Cabinet nominees.

“It is important we set up the new Cabinet early to take charge and realise the plans and agenda we promised to the people of Kenya,” he said.

Ruto made good his promise to clearly define the roles of his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua. The roles, Ruto said, will be gazetted upon the issue of an Executive Order.

Careful not to make past mistakes, on May 8, a coalition agreement between Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) and Moses Wetangula's Ford Kenya was filed with the Registrar of Political Parties.

According to Article 21(a) of the coalition agreement, the positions of president and deputy president were reserved for UDA. The party was to nominate the coalition’s presidential and deputy presidential candidates in the General Election of August 9. 

In the agreement, Ruto committed to clearly define his deputy’s roles.

Strained relationship with Uhuru

In the last four years, Ruto has had a frosty relationship with his former boss retired President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

Since the 2018 handshake between ODM leader Raila Odinga and Uhuru, Ruto and the former president never had anything positive to say about each other. The political hatred deepened after Uhuru endorsed Odinga as his preferred choice for president. Throughout the campaign period, Uhuru and Ruto had several public spats.

Roles defined

 As Ruto’s deputy, Gachagua will undertake the following roles:

1. Deputize the President in the execution of the President’s functions;

2. Chair Cabinet Committees;

3. Oversee Implementation of Cabinet decisions across all Ministries and State Departments;

4. Coordinate Inter-Governmental relations between the National Government and County Governments including Chairing the Inter-Governmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC);

5. Liaison with Constitutional Commissions and Independent Offices in matters that require intervention by the National Government including budgets, policy formulation and implementation of their recommendations;

6. Coordinate the planning and supervise the implementation of development partners funded programs and projects;

7. Oversee Public Sector Reforms; and any other function as may be assigned by the President.