DP Ruto missing as Uhuru meets CSs, PSs and top gov’t officials
With less than 18 months to the end of his second and final term, President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday assembled a high-ranking team of government officials.
Conspicuously missing from the high table of this meeting of senior govt officials was his deputy William Ruto.
The sitting arrangement reflected a governance formation adopted by the President when he elevated the role of Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to also chair the national development implementation and communication committee.
This role gave Dr. Matiang’i more responsibility and latitude than that of DP Ruto.
As the supervisor of the execution of government programs, it would be assumed in the hierarchy of Thursday’s meeting that CS Matiang’i is considered the senior most government official after the President.
The absence of Dr. Ruto has not been explained by the Office of the President but observers link this to the ongoing deterioration of relations between the two.
Last week, in a departure from his often restrained approach, President Kenyatta asked his deputy to quit government instead of criticising it from within and enjoying the best of both worlds.
A day later the deputy president responded to the president stating that he will not quit government as his position is assured by the constitution.
Thursday’s meeting at Statehouse further widened the rift between the President and his deputy who were last seen in public at the funeral of former Cabinet minister the late Simeon Nyachae, a function that saw them sit together but not utter a single word.
Citizen TV reached out to Dr. Ruto’s communication team who could neither confirm or deny whether the DP had been invited to the meeting or not.
They stated that it is only State House that is in a position to respond: the DP is reported to have spent the day working from his official office.
Sources intimated to Citizen TV that the President told the gathering of CSs, PSs, CASs and other senior government officials that they must prioritise the Big Four Agenda and ensure that projects are completed before his second term lapses in August next year.
In addition, the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) was apparently emphasised as a government project with the President warning those who may be opposed to it that they risk facing the sack.
Over the last few weeks, CSs in conjunction with the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) have been crisscrossing the country supervising government projects with an emphasis on Nakuru, Narok, Murang’a and Machakos counties.