Kabatesi resigns after scathing letter on Mudavadi office space

 Kibisu Kabatesi. [Courtesy]

Government Strategic Communication Secretary Kibisu Kabatesi has resigned amid controversy over the transfer of office space of Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and Public Service CS Moses Kuria.

Kabatesi, a public communications guru and Mudavadi's long-serving communication aide, in a letter dated October 25, said effective November 1 he would resign. He cited "personal reasons".

"I would have wished that we continued the great work of streamlining government communications to create a conversation between government and its citizens save that for personal reasons I undertake to resign effective November 1," the letter read in part. 

Kabatesi's resignation comes barely two weeks after his scathing statement dismissing a memo by Head of Public Service Felix Koskei on the transfer of physical space and some dockets in the ministries. 

Koskei had transferred the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary from Railways to the Old Treasury Building while at the same time allocating Kuria to the Railways office. 

"We refer to the above subject matter and to the notification of Presidential Action of October 4, 2023. In accordance with the Presidential Action on the Reorganisation of the Government of Kenya, we hereby notify you that the physical addresses for Ministries and State Departments (Ministerial Head Office) have been designated," the statement read.

But in a quick rebuttal, the Prime CS said in a statement on Facebook that his office would nonetheless remain at the Railways headquarters. 

"For the avoidance of doubt, the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs remains at the Railways headquarters," the statement read.

What followed was a letter from Kabatesi who emphasised that portfolio designation was the prerogative of the President. 

"Unless Executive Order No.1 of January 2023 is vacated by President William Ruto with another Executive Order, the status quo remains. Any public servant purporting to allocate Ministerial locations or portfolios is misguided," he said.