President Ruto, DP Gachagua lecture CSs on corruption, absenteeism

President William Ruto. [Standard,file]

President William Ruto has cautioned State officials against engaging in corrupt practices while discharging their duties to Kenyans.

Speaking during the ministerial contract signing ceremony at State House in Nairobi on Tuesday, August 1, Ruto specifically warned Cabinet Secretaries, urging them to refrain from fostering corrupt scandals.

He stressed the government's commitment to ensuring a clean record for the benefit of Kenyans.

"I have had a heart-to-heart with my Cabinet, and I want to do the same with Principal Secretaries down to directors. It will not be business as usual. I have made a commitment to Kenyans that there will be no money to steal; there is only money to deliver on the government programs, projects, and aspirations of the people of Kenya," said Ruto.

At the same time, the President lamented the damaging political culture of unfulfilled promises that has eroded public trust in the government and deepened the divide between citizens' aspirations and government policies.

"We cannot wait to see where this road may lead because it has already brought us to a very terrible place. It is time this comes to an end once and for all, and I promise you it will come to an end,” he added.

Ruto’s sentiments were echoed by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who called on cabinet secretaries to enhance their efficiency and fulfill their responsibilities.

Gachagua's remarks aligned with recent restrictions imposed by President Ruto on executive members' international travel.

In a memo issued by Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, executive members are limited to only 45 days of abroad travel in a year, with no more than fifteen (15) days per quarter and seven consecutive days outside the country, excluding travel days.

Addressing the issue of non-essential travel, Ruto announced the suspension of such trips.

He criticized cabinet members who frequently traveled abroad, hindering the functioning of cabinet committees. DP Gachagua questioned the need for excessive international travel and called for self-regulation among government officials.

"At times, we have tried to hold cabinet committees, but we can't, as five or six ministers are out of the country. Some change clothes at the airports from one country to another. Why can't you regulate yourselves?’ posed Gachagua.

The DP also appealed to CSs against shying away from media interviews, highlighting the importance of transparent communication with the public.

 He emphasized that ministers' absence from interviews negatively impacts the government's image.

"Our ministers are quiet. They are called for TV interviews, but they do not show up to say what they have done, and then the media has a feud because nobody talks for the government," said Gachagua.

“I would rather we spend more time explaining to Kenyans what we have done in our respective dockets as opposed to travel; and if we are to travel, let’s travel upcountry and explain to wananchi what we are doing.”