Deputy President William Ruto has rubbished claims that President Uhuru Kenyatta has elbowed him out of the heart of power to obstruct his 2022 presidential bid.
“His (Matiangi’s) committee is a Cabinet committee that reports to the President and myself. How on earth can you talk of sidelining if the same committee ultimately reports to the President and myself?” said Ruto
For the first time, Ruto dismissed claims that Uhuru’s reorganisation of the executive, placing Interior CS Fred Matiang’i at the helm, was meant to diminish him.
The DP maintained that he and Uhuru planned the reorganisation together and categorically state that Matiang’i reports to him (Ruto).
“Those sideline stories have no basis at all. The functions of the Deputy President are in the Constitution. The President and I agreed how we are going to make government much more efficient and to deliver,” Ruto said.
He was speaking on BBC’s Hard Talk show hosted by Stephen Sackur.
On January 23 in a surprise decision, Uhuru named Matiang’i — known as Mr Fix It — chairman of the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee.
He’s the development czar, a super-minister charged with implementing Uhuru’s Big Four. The committee includes all CSs, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. The powerful committee is responsible for the overall supervision of all national government’s programmes and projects.
The Matiangi-led committee reports directly to the President, according to the Executive Order that established it. Pundits say the elevation of Matiangi to a ‘super minister’ has overshadowed Ruto and sapped his influence.
Ruto had been going around the country inspecting, launching projects and distributing in what appeared to be blatant campaigning.