Do you think the superior man from Nyamira deserves the powers given to him by the President? Should he oversee his colleagues as mandated to him? Well, Turf wars have rocked President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet following his elevation of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to oversee all national development projects.
According to the Star, a number of CSs, some allied to Uhuru, some to DP William Ruto, are unhappy with the new arrangement which essentially makes hard-headed, results-oriented Matiang’i their boss.
Despite the disquiet, Matiang’i yesterday chaired his first meeting of six Cabinet secretaries and top political leaders from Nyanza.
The meeting reviewed an implementation plan for stalled, ongoing and new regional projects following Uhuru’s directive after his tour of Kisumu last month. The meeting was the clearest signal that political leaders may never flock to Ruto’s office again to seek development and other benefits.
Last week, Uhuru established a four-tier executive authority with Matiang’i as the head of the powerful National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee. The Cabinet subcommittee has sweeping powers and pundits say the elevation makes Matiang’i ‘Chief Minister’, greatly diminishing the Deputy President’s influence in government.
Five of the 21 Cabinet Secretaries told a local daily in confidence they were opposed to the new order and said the move is not anchored in law.
Two of the CSs are allied to Uhuru, while three are Ruto’s men.
“As per the law, we are all equal, we are all performers. How will a colleague write to us asking us to brief him on the projects we are undertaking?” one CS asked, seeking anonymity for fear of reprisal.
He went on, “Let us wait and see how this thing will roll out, but I can assure you that not all is well. There are simmering tensions seeking a vent and trump cards waiting to be played.”
Some sources said even before the President issued the Executive Order, the Interior ministry had already written to all Ministries requesting a list of all projects they were undertaking, their status, location and cost.
It’s not clear whether the cold reception impelled Uhuru to issue the Executive Order to make his directive legally binding.
Constitution Article 132 ( 3 ) gives the President powers to direct and coordinate functions of ministries and government departments.