As President William Ruto jets in from US after addressing the United Nations General Assembly, pressure is mounting on him to re-organise his Cabinet, barely a year after forming government.
Ruto’s Cabinet will celebrate its first anniversary next month, but there have been calls for a reshuffle from leaders in Kenya Kwanza, who have castigated some serving ministers.
The latest flurry of words and renewed calls were stirred by recent comments by Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria on the rising fuel prices.
Kuria in another tweet, said: “I repeat. Petrol will be Sh260 by February. And El Nino is coming in 3 weeks that will last till March. These are global and climate change driven. Responsible leaders ought to tell the truth to prepare the people. You can throw stones at me all you want.”
His comments triggered a barrage of condemnations and calls for him to be kicked out of Cabinet. The castigation went as high as from Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi.
Kuria, however, ate humble pie in the week through another post “I have since been advised by people like Dr. Boni Khaleale (Khalwale) and his master that the statement was incorrect, insensitive, and ARROGANT. I am made to understand that the price (fuel) will come down,” He said on his X platform, formerly Twitter account.
Fresh from a trip in Colombia early in the week, Gachagua accused some leaders of arrogance and lack of empathy in addressing concerns raised by aggrieved Kenyans, sentiments that seemed to be directed towards Kuria and presidential economic advisor David Ndii
The DP called out a section of leaders in Ruto’s government over their public utterances.
He said: “I would like to remind them that although Kenyans did not employ them directly, they decisively elected President William Ruto, who in turn appointed them Cabinet Secretaries and Advisors. And hence by virtue of this, they are employed by Kenyans”.
“You do not address your employer with arrogance. Do so with humility and decorum. Kenyans, like the rest of the world, are going through difficult economic times and leaders should address them with sensitivity and empathy.”
Mudavadi went ahead to indicate a possible government realignment in the offing in a Sunday statement indicating at an appropriate time, ‘the President could make such changes’.
According to Mudavadi, it was within the President’s right to make changes in government when he feels it is right. “At an appropriate time and in his wisdom, the President could make such changes. The moment any appointee steps out of line or acts in a manner inconsistent with this mantra, it is not beyond the President to make changes in senior ranks of the Executive,” Mudavadi said.
A month ago, President Ruto while addressing senior officers, expressed displeasure over the performance of his Cabinet. Ruto said; “Many of you who I speak to don’t even know what is going on in your ministries or departments, you have very scanty information, the moment I know more than you in your ministry, then you must begin to understand that something is very wrong.”
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Senators Boni Khalwale, Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi) and Nandi’s Samson Cherargei have in the recent past hit at some CSs.
They called for action on some ministers. “President Ruto, I want to tell you today from Kakamega, some of the people you gave them jobs in government are putting you in deep trouble unnecessarily,” said Khalwale.
Cherargei a month ago called for removal of Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, accusing him of mishandling Kenyan athletes.
“CS Ababu continues to mismanage into oblivion our beloved sports. How can ministry officials fly first class with their girlfriends to Hungary at the expense of our athletes?” Cherargei said tweeted.
He added; “Our female athletes being exploited sexually and economically! Parliament must summon CS Sports to avert disastrous mismanagement of our sports!”
Last week, All Saints Cathedral Canon Evans Omollo asked the President to bite the bullet and send some non-performing members of his Cabinet home, indicating that some were “clueless”.
“There are Cabinet Secretaries who are literally clueless of what they are supposed to be doing there. I think the President needs to be bold enough. I would have expected a bold reshuffle at this point,” said the Provost in a TV interview.