CSs Kuria, Mudavadi and Head of Public Service Felix Koskei in conflict over office space
A week after President William Ruto's move to reshuffle his cabinet where some roles were re-assigned and a new docket of Gender, Culture, Arts and Heritage was created, a memo from the Executive Office of the President has detailed the new physical office locations for the respective ministries and state departments.
A memo by Head of Public Service Felix Koskei indicated that the now expanded Prime Cabinet Secretary position, which includes the Foreign and Diaspora Affairs docket, headed by Musalia Mudavadi, would be located at the old Treasury building located on Harambee Avenue, noting that this is not the building that houses the National Treasury and Economic Planning ministry.
Meanwhile, the Public Service, Performance, and Delivery Management docket headed by Moses Kuria would take up the Kenya Railways building off Haile Sellasie Avenue which has now created a point of contention.
But Mudavadi's office disputes this, inviting President Ruto to the simmering conflict.
According to a letter from Kibisu Kabatesi, who handles public communication at the PCS office, no public servant other than the president can purport to allocate ministerial locations or portfolios, adding that such action is misguided and tantamount to usurping the function that belongs to the head of state.
Kabatesi noted that unless Executive Order No. 1 which outlined the functions of cabinet secretaries is vacated by the president the status quo would remain.
In the letter, Kabatesi revealed that Mudavadi has been a squatter at the Treasury building as renovations of the Railways' headquarters proceeded and that he had even already set up camp pending completion of the works.
He further dismissed the assertions that his office ought to have been at the Treasury building which defies Koskei's statement.
On his part, CS Kuria took to X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday, downplaying media reports over the ensuing conflict over office space.
Kuria outlined the roles of the State Department of Performance and Delivery Management which is under his ministry as per Executive Order no 1.
"Contrary to media reports today, there is absolutely no
tug of war between myself and my senior and close friend Prime Cabinet
Secretary Musalia Mudavadi. The PCS will continue operating from Railways
Headquarters and myself from Harambee House," he wrote.
"Principal Secretary for Performance and Delivery
Management Veronicah Nduva will also be based at Harambee House to oversee
Government Delivery Services, Performance Contracting, State Corporations
Advisory Committee and Inspectorate of State Corporations as per Executive
Order Number 1 of 2023."
In the cabinet reshuffle, President Ruto took away the performance and delivery management function which had been under Mudavadi and placed it in the hands of CS Kuria under public service.
The question that abounds however is; was the decision to allocate the state officers' offices consultative and would Koskei issue communication without President Ruto's blessing?
Also, will the president intervene in the matter in order not to frustrate the service delivery as junior officers are likely to find themselves caught in the firing line as their bosses engage in supremacy wars?
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