Keep off politics, President Uhuru cautions new appointees
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday reiterated his warning to government officials to desist from engaging in politics at the expense of service delivery in a directive seen to target his Cabinet.
Uhuru’s directive was delivered on his behalf by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, during a two-day induction workshop for newly-appointed Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) at the Kenya School of Government in Kabete.
“The President has been very vocal and clear that this will be a year of implementation. You must focus on delivering services for Kenyans and not politics,” said the CS.
The warning comes slightly over a week after the President sacked former Laikipia East MP Mwangi Kiunjuri as Agriculture CS in what appeared to have been occasioned by the former minister’s defiance of an order to keep off politics.
“You ought to be fully aware of all of the presidential directives and national flagship programmes to which we have all dedicated significant energy, time and resources,” the CS, who is also the chair of the National Development Implementation and Communication Committee told the CASs.
Uhuru has in several occasions told public officers to shun politics and focus on service delivery instead.
However, the politics of the Building Bridges Initiative and the 2022 presidential contest have exposed cracks in his Cabinet, with members split over their loyalty between the President and his deputy William Ruto.
While a team led by Matiang’i has been forcibly mobilising support for the BBI, another faction had been organising meetings against the national cohesion project. Kiunjuri led the other faction.
CSs in the Matiang’i camp include Joe Mucheru (ICT), James Macharia (Transport), Sicily Kariuki (Water), Margaret Kobia (Public Service), Keriako Tobiko (Environment) and Peter Munya (Agriculture).
Ironically some of them have been attending political rallies and making political statements.
Some ministers, however, have steered clear of politics, among them Prof. George Magoha (Education), Najib Balala (Tourism), Farida Karoney (Lands), Amina Mohamed (Sports), Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs), Ukur Yattani (Treasury), Adan Mohamed (East Africa Community), John Munyes (Petroleum) and Raychelle Omamo (Defence).