President Ruto holds first meeting with Uhuru’s Cabinet

President William Ruto has today, September 27, chaired a meeting with his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet.

“It is a normal Cabinet meeting,” a State House source told NTV. It was a full house as all cabinet secretaries were present.

Many are waiting to know how President Ruto handled the meeting with a cabinet he has accused of attacking and openly ridiculing him despite being second in command.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, Peter Munya (Agriculture), Joe Mucheru (ICT), Keriako Tobiko (Environment), Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution), Mutahi Kagwe (Health), and Raphael Tuju (CS without portfolio) have all at some point attacked President Ruto.

Following the contentious 2017 elections, the relationship between President Kenyatta and his deputy shattered. The handshake between Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga only served as a catalyst to exacerbate a deteriorating relationship.

The cabinet became divided as President Kenyatta seemingly turned his guns on his deputy through cabinet ministers in what looked like coordinated attacks.

In 2019, President Kenyatta through an Executive Order promoted Matiang’i to chair the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee. Matiang’i was granted sweeping powers to oversee all the national government programs with the committee comprising all the Cabinet Secretaries, The Attorney-General, and the Head of the Public Service being the members of the secretariat.

With this directive, Matiang’i became the second-most powerful person after the Head of State because he was only responsible to President Kenyatta. The move was condemned by President Ruto’s allies who claimed it stripped the deputy president of all his duties.

In August last year, Mucheru criticised President Ruto’s bottom-up economic model and said he is targeting the vulnerable in the society with his ‘Hustler’ narrative.

He said: “The main problem, as I see it, is that these churches have been silenced by massive donations from politicians, who have then been gifted with the pulpit to preach the gospel of division and to nudge citizens towards a class war. These Bible-waving politicians have especially targeted the youth because they think – wrongly – that youth are gullible and easy to manipulate.”

New Cabinet

President Ruto has been in power for 14 days at this point, and unlike his predecessor, he is taking his time appointing a new cabinet.

The late President Mwai Kibaki named his first Cabinet three days after taking the oath of office on December 30, 2002, which is a record.

After taking the oath of office, the late Daniel Moi and Uhuru Kenyatta, his immediate predecessor, each waited an average of two weeks to announce the members of their Cabinets.

There are 21 ministries in the Kenyan government, and a cabinet secretary oversees each one (CS). Principal Secretaries (PSs) and accounting experts are in charge of overseeing the utilization of the monies provided to the many state departments under these ministries.

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