Uhuru issues stern warning to ministers to shun politics

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta giving a State of the Nation address Photo/PD/FILE

PD reporter and PSCU 

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday fired a warning shot to Cabinet Secretaries to desist from engaging in politics but focus on delivering services for Kenyans. 

The President cautioned the ministers to focus in their respective ministries or resign.   He also directed Principal Secretaries to keep off politics.

The President was speaking following reports of a looming Cabinet reshuffle. He urged Ministers and Principal Secretaries to concentrate on their responsibilities.

“I have given each one of you responsibilities and assigned different roles. If anyone of you doesn’t want to work, perform or deliver, you can resign. People tend to rely on media reports that I intend to sack some of you but that’s not the position. Hiyo ni ya magazeti (that is for the newspapers),” the President said during a virtual meeting at State House with the top government officials.

While addressing his development priorities and progress, Uhuru reiterated that there would never be any government project launched without his approval.  

Sources at the meeting told People Daily, that the President, while indirectly referring to the Handshake between him and Opposition chief leader Raila Odinga, told his CSs and PSs that the deal had allowed him to address the country’s politics, which they should now leave to him.

The sources quoted Uhuru as saying he brought in “some people” so that he could manage his politics.

The statement comes at a time when reports are rife of an impending reshuffle to accommodate allies of Raila, Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Kanu’s Gideon Moi and former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto of Chama Cha Mashinani in government as Uhuru lays ground for 2022 succession.

The President also took the opportunity to warn the ministers and PSs against entertaining individuals who drop his name while seeking favours.  “No one should come to you and say I have been sent from State House or OP to do this or that. I have not sent anyone and will not send,” he said.

Wiper Party, independence party Kanu and Ruto’s CCM have signed cooperation agreements with Jubilee.   Another source that was part of the virtual State House talks described it as “a lecture.”

“The President spoke with a sense of urgency. Officials were not given room for excuses. He made it clear to us that we had priorities and must stay the course. You might not hear the usual noises in the coming days,” said the source that attended the meeting.

Key projects

During the meeting, Uhuru said his key projects must be strictly implemented within set timelines and budgets.

The President reiterated his earlier directive that no new projects will be initiated except with his express authority. As a measure of accountability, the President announced that completion rate of projects will be used a measure of their performance. He also asked government departments to settle pending bills as a key priority.

Three Cabinet Secretaries and two Principal Secretaries are in the eye of a storm over claims of undermining  incumbent governors as they angle for gubernatorial seats in the next General Election.

Recent moves by the CSs and PSs have rattled the governors, who accuse them of breaching the law by engaging in politics while holding public offices. 

While the officers who have been making tours purportedly to inspect national government projects have not officially announced their respective bids, their actions and body language and the animosity between them and county bosses have left little to imagination.

They include Peter Munya (Agriculture), Eugene Wamalwa, Sicily Kariuki (Water) and Joe Mucheru (ICT) while the PSs are Karanja Kibicho (Interior and National Coordination) and Joseph Irungu (Water).

Whereas Munya is accused of undermining the leadership of Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi who trounced him in the last General Election, Kariuki and Mucheru have come under fire for allegedly using their Cabinet positions to undermine Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia and his Nyeri counterpart Mutahi Kahiga, respectively.  

In Kirinyaga County, Governor Anne Waiguru’s supporters are accusing Kibicho of orchestrating her recent political tribulations including her impeachment by Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).     

In Murang’a County, supporters of Governor Mwangi wa Iria have been engaging in ugly confrontations with those of Water PS Wairagu Irungu, who the governor accuses of undermining his leadership while gearing  to run for the gubernatorial seat in the 2022 election. Wa Iria is serving his second and final term.

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