President Ruto’s government is facing early signs of collapse as jostling for power reaches fever pitch with the expected naming of the cabinet in the coming weeks.
Ruto pledged to appoint Musalia Mudavadi the Prime Cabinet Secretary akin to the elevation of former Interior CS Fred Matiangi by President Uhuru.
Multiple insider sources tell this writer that this arrangement has not gone down well with DP Rigathi Gachagua, who believes there is no need to prime another cabinet member to mirror President Uhuru’s last term which Ruto himself felt was gross insubordination of his role.
Gachagua has no problem Musalia being a cabinet secretary. He is opposed to him being elevated beyond his cabinet roles to preside over other cabinet members using unconstitutional fiat.
Gachagua is also clinging to the pledge by Ruto not to treat his deputy the way Uhuru treated him (Ruto), which included appointing another cabinet member to exercise roles and responsibilities traditionally reserved for number two.
This writer has also been made aware of intrigues surrounding the formation of the cabinet where Rigathi has been completely blindsided, unaware of the goings on. Contrary to their public display of camaradee, the two politicians are at loggerheads.
That Ruto is facing an uphill task crafting his government is now obvious. After years of ranting against Uhuru’s disregard for the constitution, Ruto now seeks to keep the position of Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) which the High Court already declared unconstitutional.
When President Uhuru created CAS positions, using an Executive Order, the main purpose was to reward many election losers who had helped him win a second term. The new constitution caps the number of cabinet slots to 22 with no deputies. This has made it difficult to reward all cronies.
While retaining CAS will allow Ruto reward the second layer of his loyalists, it is the cabinet that has attracted vicious jostling.
Ruto is said to favour appointing Prof. Kithure Kindiki as the Interior CS, which leaves Mudavadi with Treasury as the only other major powerful position. For Kindiki, the Interior CS role will be seen as a just reward for one of Ruto’s longest and most consistent foot-soldiers who nearly became the Deputy, save for lack of Kikuyu pedigree.
Should the two men get the two positions, Rigathi will be sandwiched between a rock and a hard place. Rigathi’s other problem is his lack of support among Mt. Kenya MPs who feel he played dirty to bag the Deputy President slot.
Many Mt. Kenya MPs have kept him at arms-length. In his recent trip to Kisumu, he was surrounded by first time novices and political rejects with no clout in the larger arena of the game.
Expect a fallout.
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