Ruto Uses Kibaki Playbook Trashing "Nyayo Expectations" And Reversing Uhuru Policies....

President William Ruto has reversed over a dozen policies pursued by his predecessor, including restructuring government, revisiting cancelled multi-billion projects and entrenching populist measures as he fashions his administration.

Kenyans seeking to do business with State House, the official residence of President William Ruto, now have a chance to apply for tenders.
In a notice dated Tuesday, November 8, the house on the hill advertised that it was seeking suppliers for goods and services in 58 categories. That was after it revoked previous applications of similar tenders it had advertised for in June 2022 during former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure.

If successful, the suppliers will be awarded tenders lasting for a period of more than a year - slated to end in June 2024.

In moves that appear to send a message that former President Uhuru Kenyatta got things wrong during his tenure, President Ruto has targeted several policies, directives and programmes that were at the heart of his predecessor’s administration.
Just inside two months since his inauguration on September 13, Dr Ruto has already reversed at least 16 key policies, directives and projects by his predecessor.

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Last week, President Ruto’s government oversaw the reopening of 26 alcohol manufacturing firms that had been shut down by the previous government over tax disputes.
“That factory (Africa Spirits Limited) was paying about Sh50 million in terms of tax every month. They sent policemen there, shut it down, arrested Humphrey Kariuki – a very enterprising Kenyan, an honourable man, a man who has toiled through his life – locked him up for four days with ordinary criminals,” Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said at a Kenya Association of Manufacturers event.

The government has also reinstated Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Paul Wainaina and the university’s council. Prof Wainaina had been sacked in August after refusing to surrender a 410 acres of the university’s land to the government for redevelopment and allocation to squatters.

Read: Prof Paul Wainaina has the last laugh in Kenyatta University land controversy

His return is said to have come after parties involved in the dispute signed an agreement to withdraw court cases against him.
The President started stamping his authority once he was sworn in, with his first act in office being the appointment of the six judges rejected by President Kenyatta over alleged integrity issues. He also committed to increasing funding to the Judiciary, which had been starved of funds by the previous regime, to the tune of Sh3 billion annually for five years.

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Next in line was reverting port operations and cargo clearance to the port of Mombasa. The previous regime, in which he served as Deputy President, had directed that all onward cargo arriving at the port be transported via the Standard Gauge Railway to the Embakasi and Naivasha inland container depots (ICDs) to increase the use of the railway in order to repay the construction loan.
Importers are now free to clear goods at the port or ICDs and transport them via road or rail.
President Ruto’s officials, including his Cabinet, have taken the cue and made a number of changes.KPA starts return of port services to Mombasa following Ruto order

Read: KPA starts return of port services to Mombasa following Ruto order

[SIZE=6]SGR financial agreement[/SIZE]
Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen on Sunday made public the SGR financial agreement between Kenya and China, a document the previous administration was not willing to make public, even after a court order and a public promise on live television by President Kenyatta.

Read: Murkomen makes public SGR contract which gives China sweeping powers

The President has also reverted Kenya Railways and the Kenya Ports Authority to the Transport Ministry and Kenya Pipeline Company to the Energy ministry. The three had been put under the Kenya Transport and Logistics Network through a 2020 executive Order by President Kenyatta.
President Ruto, who campaigned on a platform of reducing the cost of living, immediately scrapped the fuel and maize flour (unga) subsidies set up by President Kenyatta’s government.

In his inauguration speech, President Ruto said the fuel subsidy programme had galloped Sh144 billion while the Unga subsidy had consumed Sh7 billion in a month yet the subsidised Unga was nowhere to be seen.
As part of his efforts to overhaul the security sector, the Head of State transferred the National Police Service’s budget from the Office of the President to the Office of the Inspector General of Police, saying that in the past, operations of the police service had been hampered by lack of financial independence.
He went on to disband the dreaded special service unit (SSU) accusing it of killing Kenyans arbitrarily. The special unit had been re-branded from the Special Crimes Prevention Unit in 2019 by former Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti.
“I am the one who ordered that the SSU, which was conducting extrajudicial killings, be disbanded. We have a plan on how to secure this country so that we avoid the shame of Kenyans being killed by the police and their bodies dumped in River Yala and others,” said the President.

Read: Why President Ruto disbanded DCI’s Special Service Unit

The Kazi Mtaani programme, set up to provide work for young people to cushion them from the Covid-19 pandemic effects was abolished by the President last month. He said the work the youth will instead be engaged in the affordable housing project.
“We will have enough jobs for our young people without using them to collect garbage,” he said.
The programme had already gobbled up Sh1.3 billion in phase one and Sh2.4 billion and Sh5.6 billion had been earmarked for phases two and three, respectively.

In another reversal, the Kenya Kwanza government is set to revive the Sh56 billion tender to build the second terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport that was cancelled eight years ago by reopening talks with a Chinese firm that had won the contract.
The tender was cancelled in March 2016 after Sh4.2 billion had been paid to the contractor in advance and Sh75 million spent on a ground breaking ceremony presided over by President Kenyatta on May 23, 2014.
The new terminal was expected to handle 8.7 million passengers per year.

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[SIZE=6]Financial transactions[/SIZE]

Further, President Ruto has said talks are underway with the Central Bank of Kenya to increase the financial transactions reporting limit, currently at Sh1 million, terming the existing directive as burdensome on genuine business transactions. President Kenyatta had also ordered that the limit be increased but the directive was not implemented.
Contributions to the National Health Insurance Fund and the National Social Security Fund will soon depend on the income of an individual if the President has his way.
This will be a marked departure from the current policy where NSSF contributions stand at Sh200 and NHIF Sh1,700 for those earning above Sh100,000 while the lowest paid contributes Sh150.
In October, President Ruto announced his administration will reduce its stakes in between five and 10 companies by listing them on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) within the next 12 months to raise much-needed cash.
“We will embark on privatisation of public corporations as a way to generate wealth,” he said. But he was not explicit on which corporations will be listed.

President Kenyatta had been reluctant to reduce the government’s stranglehold on key companies citing strategic, regulatory and national security reasons, declining to float its shares in various companies and parastatals that could have possibly raised Sh792.6 billion.
But nominated MP John Mbadi, an economist and the ODM party chairman, termed the decisions by the President as knee-jerk. He said the reversals are populist in nature without any serious economic thought behind them.
“The previous government was not Uhuru’s alone but the two of them and some of the policy reversals he is making have been there even when he was fully in charge as Deputy President. So I don’t understand how he will just wake up and say all these policies are now wrong,” said Mr Mbadi, who chairs the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee.
“I foresee President Ruto’s economic policies backfiring just like former UK prime minister Liz Truss if he is not careful,” he said. “You can’t run a government by faith, hope and prayer.”
But Mr Vincent Kimosop, an economist, disagreed, saying the changes by the President are not new or unusual as that is what happens when administrations change. He pointed out that the reversals need to be contextualised for a better understanding as some are political while others are economic.
“There will be those that are politically inspired as policies are also taken within a political context, especially as a campaign promise. So it would be wrong to paint all of them with one broad brush,” said Mr Kimosop.

Read: Ruto: We will fix Uhuru Kenyatta’s economic, security mess

Political commentator Javas Bigambo said that President Ruto is using his powers to show how different he is from his former boss.
“Although it may not be so much about a vote of no confidence in his predecessor, the decisions, however, might be implying that when he was serving as the Deputy President, he could have been providing several pieces of advice that were not heeded.
“Further, given the kind of treatment he was subjected to in the second term of the Jubilee administration, he could have developed some serious scorn for things that happened during the previous administration even though he was part of it,” said Mr Bigambo.
On the communication front, the President changed the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU) to the Presidential Communication Service (PCS). In the changes, the Deputy Head of the PCS will serve as the State House spokesperson, a departure from the past when the head of PSCU also served as the State House spokesperson.

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A UDA lawmaker has revealed plans to seek the scrapping of the presidential term limit, noting that the cap should be on age, not period of service.

Fafi MP Salah Yakub said some UDA lawmakers are working on a constitutional amendment Bill to replace the two-term limit with an age limit of 75 years.
Should the MPs have their way, they would give Dr William Ruto, the sitting President, the leeway to seek re-election for four terms, or 20 years. Dr Ruto is aged 55 and has not indicated any intention to contest beyond the current term limit.

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Mr Yakub, who said there have been closed-door discussions on the proposal, however, refused to divulge the names of the MPs behind the new development or whether it has the blessing of the UDA party top brass.

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Farah Salah Yakub

Mr Yakub said that what is remaining is for the proposers to sit and draft the constitutional amendment Bill and forward it to Parliament.
Update: UDA has reacted to the comments made by Fafi MP Salah Yakub
Also Read: Oparanya slams call to extend the presidential term limit
He first made the comments during a relief food distribution drive in Garissa County over the weekend, where he said: “We want to tell Kenyans that the limit on two terms should be relooked. We want it to be changed to an age limit where when one gets to 75 years then he or she cannot contest”.
“We will come up with an amendment Bill to try to change this because we want the requirement to be on age limit and not terms. If a president is doing a good job, then he or she should not be limited by the terms,” he added.

[SIZE=6]Repeal of section 2A[/SIZE]
The two-term limit came into effect ahead of the 1992 elections following the repeal of section 2A of the old constitution. The 2010 Constitution maintained the presidential term limit.

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According to Article 142 of the Constitution, the President shall hold office for a term beginning on the date on which the President is sworn in, and ending when the person next elected President is sworn in. The article goes ahead to state that a person shall not hold office as president for more than two terms.
The timing of such a proposal, coming only three months after a hotly contested presidential election, could raise political temperatures. At his current age, for instance, President Ruto would be eligible to contest in the 2027, 2032 and 2037 elections if the term limits are replaced with the age limit.

Read: Raila Odinga warns Africa over return of era of life presidents

A proposal of such magnitude, however, would require the proposer to marshal a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament, as well as a simple majority of Kenyans in a referendum.

[SIZE=6]Cast in stone[/SIZE]
National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed laughed off the plans, saying the presidential term limit is cast in stone.
“This madness of Kenya Kwanza will come to an end very soon. They are talking about many things but once their minds settle, they will realise that they have work to do and stop all this monkey business they have been taking the country through in the last two months,” he said.
Makueni Senator Dan Maanzo also dismissed the proposal, terming it “totally ridiculous” and next to impossible. “Where will such an amendment pass through? He is just looking for cheap publicity. It will be a waste of time,” said Mr Maanzo.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said such a move would be met with stiff resistance from Kenyans, while Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna said: “Let them bring it first then we shall see what next. We will not waste time on roadside or funeral declarations.”

By Kevin Cheruiyot

UDA chairman Johnson Muthama has dismissed the controversial proposal by Fafi MP Salah Yakub to scrap the presidential term limit as personal, saying the party stands for open democracy.

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Mr Muthama insisted that the proposal does not reflect the party’s ambition.

“As the National Party chairman, I wish to categorically state that Hon. Yakub made a personal statement that has nothing to do with UDA. As a Party, we stand for open democracy and we remain supportive of the two-term presidential limit and (there) no ongoing discussions to scrap it,” Mr Muthama said.

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Should the MP have his way, the move would give Dr William Ruto, the sitting President, the leeway to seek re-election for four terms, or 20 years.

Dr Ruto is aged 55 and has not indicated any intention to contest beyond the current term limit.

According to the MP’s proposal, some of the UDA lawmakers were working on a Constitutional Amendment Bill to replace the two-term limit with an age limit of 75 years.

When President Ruto took over the office, he swore to protect the Constitution of Kenya.

The president has not commented on the matter, and neither has he indicated an intention of serving beyond the constitutional term limit.

[SIZE=7]William Ruto and Rigathi Gachagua unity faces acid test[/SIZE]
Sunday, November 27, 2022

By Moses Nyamori
Reporter
Nation Media Group

There is an air of tension building in President William Ruto’s State House, fueled by a fierce fight for government jobs.

The recent public outburst by Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga over an alleged scheme to shortchange the Mount Kenya region has lifted the lid on the behind-the-scenes palace wars being fought over key government appointments.
While President Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua have projected an image of a good working relationship since they took over the reigns of power, reports of a simmering discord have emerged, with Mr Kahiga revealing that certain individuals have been trying to foment distress between the pair.

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Multiple interviews with individuals in the inner circle of the Kenya Kwanza administration indicate that the differences between the two top leaders deepened during the nomination of Principal Secretaries (PS), when they each drew their own list of preferred nominees for consideration by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

The differences occasioned the revision of the shortlist, forcing an addition of 108 individuals to an earlier list by the PSC. PSC had first shortlisted 477 individuals for the plum positions, but revised it to have a total of 585 nominees.

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DP Gachagua is said to be pushing for an equal share of slots for his Mt Kenya region in all appointments, causing President Ruto’s allies from regions outside his Rift Valley backyard to miss out on the major appointments made so far.

Also read:[B] N[/B]yeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga wades into Ruto-Gachagua union, again

The recent rejection of Dr Ruto’s ally, former United Republican Party (URP) Secretary-General Fred Muteti to East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), in a scheme hatched by Mt Kenya MPs, gave insight into the root of the emerging strains in the political marriage.

Both President Ruto’s Rift Valley and DP Rigathi’s Mt Kenya regions each got 13 PS nominees out of the 51 names submitted to Parliament for vetting.
Sharing out of the PS positions has since become the basis of petitions filed in court by among others the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) that seeks to quash the list and order PSC to repeat selection of the candidates.

[SIZE=6]Contrary to pluralism[/SIZE]
In the court papers, LSK claims that in the disputed list, “13 nominees are from members of the Kalenjin community from the Rift Valley, and 13 others are from Central Kenya region, to the detriment of the other 40 tribes and communities, contrary to pluralism of the country and depicts regional imbalance”.
A source within the ruling coalition claimed that a faction within the government was behind the court petitions, citing alleged “back and forth and betrayal in key appointments.”
This assertion was given further credence by the decision by the National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula to quickly suspend vetting of the PSs, which had already commenced, contrary to recent traditions of Parliament that have frowned upon injunction of ongoing parliamentary business.
The suspension following a court order is seen to have gone against a ruling by former Speaker Justin Muturi, now Attorney General, directing that the court cannot issue an injunction to Parliament.

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Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, Tharaka Nithi’s Muthomi Njuki, DP Rigathi Gachagua and Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru in Nairobi

The 12th Parliament then resolved that the court could only rule on the legality of outcome of a parliamentary proceeding, but not stop it when already processing a matter.

The reported power struggle is also said to be behind the delay to shortlist candidates for the controversial Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) positions.
The commission closed applications for the position on October 27, but is yet to carry out shortlisting after close to a month. More than 5,000 individuals – mostly politicians and election losers – had applied for the contested CAS positions by the deadline.

[SIZE=6]Urgency with positions[/SIZE]
An official with the commission told Sunday Nation that shortlisting had not started. The official who sought anonymity said there was no “urgency with the positions”.
The Nyeri Governor on Wednesday claimed that certain individuals were fueling discord between Dr Ruto and Mr Gachagua.
“When you hear the little noise, it is because there could be one or two people around him (Dr Ruto) who are trying to portray a wrong picture of him. But I want to tell you as I stand on this pulpit that when Dr Ruto agrees with you on something, he fulfills it. He is a truthful man and we will continue supporting him,” said Mr Kahiga.
“We must make our son (Mr Rigathi) very strong. When fire breaks out, it mostly lands on number two in the office. I don’t know whether you have realised that. Continue praying for him. We must stand with our brother and hold his hand firmly so that he can help his boss (Dr Ruto),” he added, during a church service at New Life Church in Nyeri presided over by the DP’s wife, Pastor Dorcas Rigathi.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei –a close ally of Dr Ruto – told Sunday Nation that the Nyeri county boss ‘was within his right to speak his mind’ but denied claims that a faction within the government was out to frustrate appointment of PSs.

“I can confirm to you that there is no faction in the government supporting the case by LSK. Those are speculations. The government is intact and all is well. Even the DP spoke a day after the governor made the remarks and corrected him,” said Mr Cherargei.
He was referring to a subsequent public address by DP Gachagua, in which he said that the political marriage between Kenya Kwanza allies was a ‘permanent’ affair.
“We will continue to consult at every level and we hope the court can see sense and rule against the case so that we can have the PSs in office,” added Senator Cherargei.
The reported power struggle that has seen certain regions miss out on key appointments is said to have put the president in an awkward position, and has been linked to the postponement of his planned visit on Kisii region on Sunday.
An analysis of the PS nominee list shows that Kisii, Nyamira, Busia, Migori, Kilifi, Siaya counties did not get even a single PS slot while counties like Bomet, Uasin Gishu, Nyeri, Meru, Nandi, Nakuru, Tharaka Nithi among other Kenya Kwanza strongholds got multiple positions on top of Cabinet Secretary (CS) positions.
The Gusii region, for the first time since independence, missed out on the PS nominations and there are fears the President could face a political backlash should he visit the region before making further appointments.
An MP from Gusii told Nation that the President has indicated that he will visit the region after making CAS appointments.

Also read: Mt Kenya leaders: Eala victory a warning shot to Kenya Kwanza

“The main reason why the visit was put on hold is because a majority of us are in Juba for parliamentary games. The issue of appointments is also there. Hey may come once more appointments are made,” said a first-time lawmaker.
But some of the region’s MPs led by National Assembly Majority Leader Sylvanus Osoro dismissed reports that Dr Ruto could face political backlash if he visits before giving the region some key government appointments.
Mr Osoro said it was not within the right of any group or community to force the president to appoint particular people.
“It is not true. It is the discretion of the President to appoint whoever he deems fit to push his agenda for the country. He is never gagged by any group or community. In any case, a church service cannot be the environment to raise such issues,” said Mr Osoro.
“The president’s diary changes every time. He has some guests from abroad on Sunday morning (today) and he might be late for church. He needs quality time with Omogusi,” he said.
Nyaribari Chache MP Zaheer Jhanda and Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango) said the President will come to the region at a later date.
“The president means well for the community and he has since given the community a CS. We are very hopeful he will give us more positions since he has promised. The Gusii region got a CS on top of two nominations to the Senate,” said Mr Jhanda.

Mr Rigathi recently told his Mt Kenya backyard to expect more appointments in the near future since they are the ones who voted in the current administration.

At the same time, the DP’s decision to rally Mt Kenya MPs to vote leaders from the region in total defiance against a lineup approved at State House is evidence of the simmering cold war.
His current plan to rally and consolidate Mt Kenya region behind himself ahead of 2027 also appears to be an offensive against the President, who believes to have been voted almost to the last man by the vote-rich basket without much influence by any of the regional leaders.
The State House meeting had settled on former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar, ex-nominated MP David Sankok, ex-Nandi Woman Representative Zipporah Kering, ex-nominated senator Falhadha Iman Dekow, and former United Republican Party (URP) secretary-general Fred Muteti.
But Mt Kenya leaders ganged up against the State House lineup to vote for Mwangi Maina and former Igembe Central MP Cyprian Kubai Iringo, who were not in the preferred list. They also voted for Azimio’s Kanini Kega.
Mr Iringo was, however, knocked out on the basis of gender, in what saw Ms Dekow sail through despite garnering less votes compared to the former.
Mr Gachagua, while in Tharaka Nithi last week, admitted how he rallied Kenya Kwanza MPs to back former Kieni MP Kanini Kega for the EALA seat while confirming his efforts to consolidate the region.
The admission has been corroborated by some Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition lawmakers, who revealed that a delegation of MPs from Mt Kenya approached them for help in the EALA election.
“There was a delegation that came to us. The brief was that we help them by voting Mt Kenya leaders to EALA so that they could teach their partners in Kenya Kwanza a lesson. Of course they were also to vote for Winnie (Odinga) and Kennedy (Musyoka) in return,” said the Azimio MP, who claimed that the lawmakers from Mt Kenya were acting on instructions of Mr Gachagua. Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi – who succeeded Mr Rigathi in the constituency – told Sunday Nation that while it is true that some of the leaders in the region lobbied for candidates not endorsed at State House, there is no political discord between Mt Kenya and Rift Valley.
Mr Mamumbi admitted lobbying members from across the political divide to vote for Mr Maina.
He also said that the views by Mr Kahiga over an alleged plot to create discord were his personal views that do not represent the general feeling of the region’s leaders.
“There was no meeting with Azimio. What happened was normal lobbying for Mwangi and the others. We agreed as Kenya Kwanza lawmakers to vote the way we did. There was no instruction from anyone,” said the MP.
Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni claimed that some of his colleagues from Kenya Kwanza had intimated to him of a scheme to shortchange the region.
“I will not be surprised. He (Ruto) will do reverse psychology for the region for five years,” said Mr Kioni.
ODM chairman John Mbadi and Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi claimed that Kenya Kwanza could be having a hand in the petition challenging the PS nominees list.
“I think the Speaker made a mistake in his ruling because one arm of government cannot interfere with the other arm. What the court can do is to declare the outcome illegal but to not stop parliament. The speaker could be playing politics with the matter,” said Mr Mbadi.
“Ruto will have to make a choice between pleasing those who helped him win and remaining a national leader, which he cannot realise if he is held hostage by people who want to consolidate their ethnic support base,” he said.
Mr Osotsi said Kenya Kwanza government could be having a hand in the intrigues surrounding the appointments. He termed Mr Wetang’ula’s stoppage of PSs vetting as a bad precedent.

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