Turbulent waters of Maji house and the tag of war between CS, PS

A disquiet is brewing in government between President William Ruto’s appointees from the Central Region and those from his Rift Valley home turf over the control of plum government offices and resources.

The Latest is the Supremacy battle between Water Cabinet Secretary (CS) Alice Wahome and her PS Kipronoh Ronoh which has now escalated to the Chief of Staff  Felix Kosgei.

The PS wants the CEO of Athi Water Agency Michael Thuita out, While the CS is not convinced to suspend him on grounds of investigations on graft being carried out by EACC.

Recent correspondence between CS Wahome and PS Ronoh has revealed the frosty relationship between the two.

A letter by EACC addressed to Wahome titled “Suspension of Eng Michael Thuita, CEO Athi Water Works Development Agency” is at the centre of the row.

EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak in the letter dated 24th May 2023 recommends the suspension of Thuita to pave the way for investigations over alleged graft.

The Letter reads in Part, ”The Commission is undertaking investigations on procurement irregularities in the award of tender for the construction of Ruiru-II, Karimenu, and Kitui Matuu Water Projects that were undertaken by the Athi Water Works Development Agency where the Chief Executive Officer Eng. Michael Thuita has been adversely mentioned.”

But in her Reply to Mbarak, dated 31st May 2023 CS Wahome is not convinced that Thuita should be suspended.

” The Subject matter should be investigations into procurement illegalities in the award of tender of the projects mentioned in your said letter and not suspension as referenced. To enable me to consider the recommendation section of suspension of the officer alleged to have been involved in the irregularities kindly let me have the letter of complaint filed, ” her response reads in part.

But PS Kipronoh Ronoh holds a different View as he writes to his water CS on the 25th of August 2023  wanting her to act on the letter by EACC and Suspend Thuita.

”The Allegations border on corruption malpractices and request by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission EACC on the Chief Executive Officer to step aside to allow investigations to be conducted calls for cooperation and facilitation from the Ministry Leadership,” he wrote.

Kipronoh further states ,”Following directives by his Excellency the President William Ruto, on zero tolerance on corruption I wish to request that your office consider appointing a new person on acting capacity.”

The Letter was copied to the Chief of Staff- Felix Kosgei and EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak. That seems to have infuriated Wahome who launched a scathing attack against the PS in a letter dated September 1st, Accusing him of Insubordination for copying communication on internal ministry matters to other offices.

”You have become part of governance and Leadership challenges at the agency, you should cease persistent harassment of senior officers in the Ministry, ” Wahome wrote.

The back and forth exposes the tension in Leadership between CS Alice Wahome and PS  Kipronoh Ronoh. With the CS seemingly protecting Thuita.

Thuita had also accused the PS Kipronoh Ronoh of diverting 1.1 billion shillings allocated for projects in Muranga and Kiambu with Leaders from the affected regions demanding answers from PS Kiprono Ronoh and appearing to quell the simmering arm wrestling at the Ministry.

”As Kenya Kwanza Leaders the last thing we want is to see our leaders fighting or disagreeing as this will stifle water agenda and it is the people who will suffer, ” Gatanga MP Edward Muriu said.

In Muranga Wahome is facing backlash from Maragua MP Mary Wamaua who has accused Wahome of interference and frustrations in water projects for selfish gains.

The tag of war in President Ruto’s Government between the two regions was also witnessed when the former PS Josephine Mburu was sacked by President William Ruto. She claimed innocence and accused the then PS in charge of the Directorate of Medical Services, Peter Tum but After Mburu was sacked Tum was moved to the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Arts and Sports once the news made national headlines.

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