Deputy President William Ruto was not invited to a critical meeting of top government officials chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta as the relationship between the country’s top two bosses deteriorates.
During the virtual meeting bringing together all Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Chief Administrative Secretaries, the President outlined his government’s development priorities for the new financial year that began on July 1.
Uhuru also set new performance indicators — with the rate of completion of projects being listed as a key priority — even as a major reshuffle within the Executive looms.
But as Uhuru was re-energising his team which will play a key role in consolidating his legacy, the DP was hosting a delegation of church leaders from Nyeri county in his Karen office.
Sources said it was Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i who chairs the powerful National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee who invited the President to speak.
Asked why Ruto was absent, Ruto’s deputy secretary of communication Emmanuel Talam told local media “the DP cannot refuse to attend any such meeting and he cannot also gatecrash meetings he is not invited”.
“You cannot skip a meeting to which you’ve not been invited. Find out from Kanze Dena (State House spokesperson) or Joseph Kinyua (Secretary to Cabinet) if the DP was invited,” Talam said.
It has become a routine that DP Ruto is not involved in key government events, he is more of a spectator than a key player, he is officially in the opposition- analysts Baraka Bosire said
During the meeting Uhuru called for Collective Responsibility in the implementation of Government Projects and Programmes through the involvement of entire Ministerial Establishments (Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries), so as to ensure timely delivery of quality outcomes.
The President said Collective Responsibility should be demonstrated by enhanced presence and visibility of Government on the ground through inspection of projects and robust public engagements.
The Head of State acknowledged the current difficult economic environment occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic and reminded Government Departments to settle pending bills as a key priority and to ensure that pending bills is the first charge on each Ministry’s Budget.
In support of local industries, the President said the Government must walk the talk of Buy Kenya Build Kenya agenda and once again, directed all Ministries, State Departments and State Agencies to give preferential procurement to Kenyan Made Goods and Services.