Power play in Ruto government one week after Cabinet changes

"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 that the physical addresses for Ministries and State Departments... have been designated as follows," read the letter.

Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria moved by Ruto from Trade, Investments and Industry to Public Service, according to Koskei letter, will take over the Kenya Railways headquarters along Haile Selassie Avenue.

In the Executive Order NO. 1 of 2023 on the organisation of government released on January 6, President Ruto had placed Mudavadi's office at the Kenya Railways headquarters.

"I .... by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statute Laws of Kenya, hereby order and direct: I. THAT the Government shall be organised as set out in this Order; II. THAT this Order assigns functions and institutions among Ministries and State
Departments as hereunder; and III. THAT this Order supersedes Executive Order No. 1 of 2022 issued on 12th October, 2022," wrote President Ruto.

Mudavadi's office would have, Public Service Performance Management Unit, State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC) (State Corporations Act, Cap.446), Inspectorate of State Corporations (State Corporations Act, Cap.446) and the Government Delivery Services (GDS) as the institutions.

However, the Koskei letter noted that Kuria's ministry had been added some responsibilities to include the Ministry of Public Service, Performance and Delivery Management.

Yesterday, Mudavadi's office said that there are no wrangles in the allocation of office space to Cabinet secretaries and portfolio designation.

Mudavadi, through Secretary Government Strategic Communication Kibisu Kabatesi, said the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs has been a squatter at the Treasury Building and he is awaiting the completion of renovation and refurbishment of his Railways office.

"Nonetheless, given his avowed unpretentiousness, the PCS-MFDA has already relocated to the premises pending completion. To therefore allege that Treasury Building is designated as the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs is to convolute public evidence in the Executive Order No1 of January 2023 that designates the office as at Kenya Railways headquarters, o," said Kabatesi.

On Sunday, a section of the media reported the alleged tussle between Mudavadi and Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria, over office space.

President William Ruto signs an Executive Order at State House, Nairobi, in September 2022. [PCS]

Kabatesi said that in government pecking order, Kuria cannot attack his superior, the Prime Cabinet Secretary.

He emphasised that portfolio designation was the prerogative of the president and cannot be usurped by a civil servant.

"What this means is that until and 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 to the extent that they are attempting to usurp a function that belongs to the President," he said.

In the recent reorganisation of government, the State Department of Performance Management under which the Public Service Performance Management Unit falls was deployed to the Ministry of Public Service.

"All the other institutions that support the Prime Cabinet Secretary's function of "Coordination and Supervision of Government Ministries and State Departments" and "Oversee of the Implementation of National Government policies, programmes and projects" have not been affected, contrary to some speculative reportage," said Kabatesi.

Kuria posted on his Twitter account: "For the avoidance of doubt, under Executive Order Number 1 of 2023, the following are the functions assigned to the State Department of Performance and Delivery Management. It shall remain so until amended. Ignore any other reports to the contrary," Kuria said.

In a communication dispatched by Koskei, EAC CS Rebecca Miano has been moved to the Trade and Industry docket.

Water CS Alice Wahome has swapped positions with Zachary Njeru of the Ministry of Lands, Public Works and Urban Development.

Foreign and Diaspora Affairs CS Alfred Mutua has been redeployed to the Tourism and Wildlife docket.