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10 irreducible minimums Ruto expects from his new Cabinet

Thursday, October 27th, 2022 14:25 | By
There are three ingredients the government ought to get right to ensure the economy gets a balance that can create the fiscal space necessary for growth. First, the taxman has to get into those spaces that can enable him to increase tax collection without burdening the current taxpayers. This will ensure that the taxman collects sufficient revenue to fund the national Budget without too much borrowing. Over the next two years, the taxman should be able to grow revenues from the current Sh2 trillion to Sh3 trillion to ease debt pressure. This ambition will require tax reform measures that could see every Kenyan above 18 years enter the tax bracket using technology. Secondly, the government will need to be more prudent in its expenditure to ensure fiscal discipline. This can include suspending proposed development projects and reviewing the budgets for existing ones. Completing existing projects, particularly roads, should however be prioritised to ensure they start giving value to the public. Enforcing fiscal discipline and prioritising development spending will help the government to borrow less. If the government manages its appetite for domestic borrowing, there will also be more money for banks to lend to the private sector, which will boost the economy. The third and most important ingredient is a presidential pronouncement on pilferage of public re-sources. While we can not ascertain that the last government was losing Sh2 billion a day as the then President Uhuru Kenyatta once said, what is known is that the country ranks worse than average in almost every dimension of corruption, according to a World Bank diagnostic report. For example, Kenya ranked 124 out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2020 released by Transparency International. That is why Kenya must start a serious talk on how to ringfence taxpay-ers’ money from pilferage. This will also call for a major shift in civil service mindset if the new administration is to succeed in turn-ing around the economy. However, the government must not forget that it is not running a business but a country. Its work is to invest in public goods, not to make money or scrimp when handling some expenditure. The point is for it to create an opportunity for the economy to expand and create room for all sectors to thrive, bearing in mind that the more people there are paying taxes, the better it will be for gov-ernment. As such it must do all in its power to keep those already in employment in their jobs while creating opportunities for new entrants.
President William Ruto. PHOTO/Courtesy

President William Ruto told his Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) that their celebrations will be shortlived as he expects them to get to work immediately following their swearing-in.

Ruto witnessed the swearing-in of all the 24 CS in a ceremony held at State House on Thursday, October 27, 2022.

The President addressed his Cabinet after all of them took the oath of office. He congratulated them before stating what he expected of them.

Below is a list of minimum expectations Ruto set for his Cabinet:

No failure

Ruto made it clear that he expects his CSs to succeed in their dockets as failure was not an option for them.

"You will have my support because you have no option other than to succeed. Failure is not an option good people. We have a country to look after, we have a plan to implement and we have the people of Kenya watching us. So You will have my unqualified support so that you can succeed because in your success is the success of our administration and the success of our country," Ruto said.

Uphold the constitution

Ruto insisted that his CSs must uphold the constitution and be guided by the rule of law in their administration of duties in their respective dockets.

"I have listened to you carefully as you took your oath of office and there are three fundamental things that you have sworn to. Number one you have sworn the constitution. You know very well that this is a country based on the rule of law. I expect each and every one of you as I do of all public servants to uphold the constitution and the rule of law to be front and centre in the administration of our government. That should be the guiding principle, making sure that our country is not run on the whims of individuals but on the dictates of the constitution," Ruto said.

Integrity

Ruto warned his CSs against perpetuating cronyism, nepotism or any other forms of discrimination while running their ministries.

"You have also sworn to serve the people, I didn't hear anyone of you swear to their friends, or their families or their regions or their religions. Each one of you here swore to serve the people of Kenya. That one is the minimum expected of all of us," Ruto said.

Advice

Ruto told his CSs that he expects to be advised by them appropriately in managing the country.

"And you have sworn to advise the president your appointing authority as it is required of you by the constitution. I look forward to listening to you and your advice so that we can manage the affairs of our nation," the President said.

Equality

Ruto insisted that his CSs should serve all Kenyans equally, noting that he was aware there were some expectations for members of his Cabinet from the respective regions where they come from.

"You have been appointed and you have sworn that you have been appointed to the Cabinet of Kenya. I know there are regional persuasions, there are community persuasions. I haven't appointed any Cabinet for any region or for any county or for any community. I have appointed a Cabinet of Kenya. I expect you to respect your oath of office and serve all Kenyans equally," Ruto said.

Collective responsibility

Ruto told members of his Cabinet to work together in running their ministries, saying that each CS should be concerned by what is happening in other ministries.

"You should be as concerned in what happens in the next ministry as were in your own ministry. And that underpins the principle of collective responsibility. I do not expect anyone of you to say things are not going right in the next ministry. It is your business if things are not going right in the next ministry it is your business to look for your colleague, sit them down and things must go right in your ministry and in the next ministry," Ruto said.

Liaison

Ruto said he expects his CSs to cooperate with elected leaders to deliver service to Kenyans.

"The people of Kenya have elected representatives. We have members of parliament, members of the Senate who are the people's representatives. I expect that we are going to work together in a respectful manner with our elected leaders," Ruto said.

Grilling in Parliament

Ruto cautioned his CSs to be ready to appear for questioning in Parliament, revealing that his administration had struck a deal with the House to allow Cabinet members to be interrogated by lawmakers in matters to do with their ministries.

"We have agreed with the legislature that they will provide the platform for us as members of the Executive to access the floor of the House so that we can explain our agenda, we can explain our programs, they can interrogate what we are doing so that the people of Kenya can understand and make an input in every commitment we have made, every plan we have and every program that we are going to run. so there will be an opportunity for you as members of the executive to interact much more robustly with Parliament," Ruto said.

Crisscross Kenya

Ruto asked his CSs to visit every corner of the country to better understand how to run their respective ministries in terms of service delivery to Kenyans.

"It will be necessary for each and every one of you to traverse Kenya so that you can better understand what Kenya looks like, what are the expectations of the people of Kenya and so that we can craft the right responses and the right decisions for the people of Kenya," Ruto said.

Working late nights

Ruto cautioned his CSs that they will be working late into the night from the very moment they take over their offices in their respective ministries.

"For the last couple of weeks, my deputy and I have been struggling in offices late into the night. Now we have a team. Your celebrations will be very short-lived because I think you will be leaving your offices late. So the spouses kidogo mutatuvumilia hawa watu pengine itabidi walale ofisini for the next couple of months until we have our plan in place," Ruto said.

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