Inside Politics

Why Ruto allies are wrong on Matiang’i, Mucheru

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021 02:01 | By
President Uhuru Kenyatta shakes hand with his deputy William Ruto. Photo/PD/Samuel Kariuki

By Joseph Ndonga

Deputy President William Ruto’s associates have been piling pressure on Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his ICT counterpart Joseph Mucheru to resign arguing that the two were engaging in partisan politics.

They accuse them of drumming up support for ODM leader Raila Odinga’s presidential bid.

I disagree with their argument. First, the two CSs have never stated that they are campaigning for Raila. I have only heard them reiterating their commitment to further the cause of the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila. 

The provisions of the Article 154 (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution are very clear. Apart from being the appointing authority, the President is granted powers to dismiss or sack those he feels are undermining the agenda of his administration. 

Uhuru’s decision to reconcile with his main political competitor in the 2017 presidential election was for the good of the country. 

Prior to this, the chaos had erupted in some areas, claiming the lives of innocent Kenyans. So, if Uhuru had not moved with speed, the country was staring at another wave of the worst election violence similar to one witnessed in the aftermath of 2007 elections.  

Upon taking the oath of office after both the 2013 and 2017 elections, Uhuru had assured Kenyans that no blood of innocent Kenyans would be shed due to election-related violence.

The Handshake has so far given birth to a number of initiatives designed to address the myriad of challenges facing Kenyans. The Azimio La Umoja (Declaration of Unity) is one of them and Raila is currently popularising it across the country. This is, of course, with the full backing of the President. 

The President has not been mincing words in his rallying call for the unity of all Kenyans. This is one of the legacies he wants to leave behind. 

Given this scenario, the CSs are right on course. They are doing the job the President assigned them. 

Ruto’s allies have threatened to file a case in court seeking the removal of the two CSs. If they deliver on the threat, I will be eager to hear their arguments. If the President delegates some duties to his CSs, does this amount to violation of the Constitution? 

And rather than go to court, why doesn’t the DP and his brigade take the matter to Parliament, considering that it represents the voice of Wanjiku?  I would have expected them to first take this matter there. Did they fear to lose the motion? I have often heard them boasting of having the numbers in Parliament. 

I also want to reflect on previous media reports that Uhuru’s Cabinet was split between him and his deputy.  This would be in utter breach of the cardinal rule of collective responsibility on the part of Cabinet members who were backing the DP. How come he and allies did not reprimand these CSs? It is simply because they were working for them.

— The writer is a political analyst and blogger based in Nairobi

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