“We lost nothing”: Gachagua says Mt Kenya still controls key dockets after reshuffle

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Friday defended President William Ruto’s cabinet reshuffle that affected eight Cabinet Secretaries.

“Our people should not feel targeted, should not despair… we are in good hands. We are working for a good-hearted and gentlemanly president. There is no cause for alarm,” he said live on Inooro FM.

In the reshuffle, President Ruto shelved the performance management portfolio from the Cabinet Secretary’s office and assigned it to a reconstituted Ministry of Public Service, Performance and Delivery Management, which he gave to Moses Kuria.

“We’ve just been reshuffled, we lost nothing…I don’t think we were the target. We are still in charge of money, security, trade, water, land…dockets. The seats that we negotiated for are still in our house…” Gachagua said.

He added that “our percentage of votes (47 per cent) in the Kenya Kwanza government is commensurate with the cabinet seats allocated to us”.

“I urge all of us in this government to work hard, up our game, let us not embarrass ourselves as a community… I am leading by example… I am working like a hyena… let Mt Kenya people in public service work like hyenas,” he said.

He said the president was only repositioning his government to suit his vision.

“There was no sinister motive, it is his duty to make his government. I am also his appointee and I can assure you that I am not out of his favour,” he said.

Mr Gachagua said the President had given him work to do “contrary to rumours that I have been sidelined by being confined to fighting alcohol and dealing with coffee issues”.

He said the president loves him as his deputy, especially “because of my ability to get up early”.

He said his base in the Mt Kenya region remained intact in the Kenya Kwanza Alliance government.

The reshuffle came after President Ruto publicly complained that some of his appointees were clueless and we’re not up to the job.

In the changes he announced on Wednesday night, Moses Kuria was moved from the Trade ministry to the Public Service to be replaced by Rebecca Miano who was moved from the East African Community ministry.

Alfred Mutua was moved from Foreign Affairs to Tourism, replacing Peninah Malonza who took over from Ms Miano.

Ruto expanded the ministerial portfolio of Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, making him Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, a move that some pundits said diminished the importance of the Gachagua office.

He said the best way for appointees from the Mt Kenya region to keep their heads high amidst the turmoil was to work in a way that would make it difficult to raise doubts about their abilities.

“We should try to leave a Mt Kenya legacy in this service,” he said, adding cryptically that “even when things are tough, we will continue to support President Ruto”.

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