Inside Politics

I’ll consult Rigathi if our roles overlap, Mudavadi tells MPs

Tuesday, October 18th, 2022 06:50 | By
Prime Cabinet Secretary nominee Musalia Mudavadi
Prime Cabinet Secretary nominee Musalia Mudavadi takes oath before the beginning of the vetting process in parliament on Monday, October 17, 2022. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Former Amani National Congress (ANC)  party leader Musalia Mudavadi yesterday told lawmakers he would have no problem consulting Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua should their offices have overlapping roles.

Mudavadi, who resigned as ANC party leader yesterday to take up the position of  Prime Cabinet Secretary if approved by Parliament’s Committee on Appointments, said government functions are cross-cutting and will always override each other.

Speaking during the ongoing vetting of Cabinet secretaries, Mudavadi said his job has clear and distinct roles, contrary to claims that President William Ruto struggled to assign him functions.

“I don’t think the President was struggling to define functions of this office. He was very much in order, and there is no conflict between the DP and my office. There is nowhere you can find a government with no cross-cutting issues. But despite this, at personal level, I will have no issue to walk from my office to that of the DP to consult, should the need arise,” he said.

 Office near hustlers

Mudavadi has been allocated an office at the Kenya Railways headquarters on Haile Selassie Avenue, Nairobi. He said he has no problem with the location as it is near “hustlers”, which will be a constant reminder for him to perform his duties to improve their livelihoods. “I am very happy with this space. Kenyans who voted for us are there every morning and evening and this is a constant reminder that we should not let them down.”

Being the first to appear for vetting, Mudavadi defended his proposed position following claims it is not provided for in the Constitution, as had been alleged by the Azimio-One Kenya alliance.

He said Ruto was guided by the Constitution as it gave him powers to create offices he deems fit through Executive Orders.

He spoke moments after National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula ruled the said position is provided for in the Constitution. “By creating the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary, the President satisfies the object of the National Government Coordination Act—to establish an administrative and institutional framework for coordination of National Government functions. Consequently, the President has delegated the coordination and supervision function of government in accordance with this Act and other Statutes.”

Not a demotion

He also downplayed claims the position amounted to a demotion, as it entailed him supervising Principal Secretaries.

“The whole aspect of coordination is important and I will be working with PSs. They are the accounting officers of ministries; I do not feel this is a demeaning role, not at all”, he said.

Mudavadi was responding to questions from Suna East MP Junet Mohammed and Saboti’s Caleb Amisi, who sought to know whether it was not a demotion for him to be appointed to this position as he would be dealing with PSs.

“I am looking at your CV and I see that you became a minister in 1989. At that time, I was only three years old. You have served as a minister, deputy prime minister and vice-president for over 30 years. I am now seated here as a second-term MP, vetting you for a position that does not exist in our Constitution. Does this portray you as a man who has no ambition?” asked Amisi.

More on Inside Politics