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Fred Matiang’i takes low profile after Ruto’s triumph

Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiangi appears to have disappeared from the public eye days after William Ruto was declared President-elect.

The President-elect was on Monday announced as the winner of the August 2022 polls by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati.

He beat his closest rival Raila Odinga to the title in a race that attracted four presidential candidates.

Odinga though has contested the results and says he headed to court.

Notably, Matiang’i has failed to appear at press briefings of two Transition committee meetings addressed by the Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua of which he is a member.

The meetings are aimed at ensuring a smooth transition between retiring President Uhuru Kenyatta and his successor.

Matiangi holds a sensitive docket as the current Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government in Kenya and is literally in charge of the country’s security affairs from an administrative point of view.

He is also known to be an ardent critic of the President-elect with the beef between the two leaders stretching way back to 2018 when President Uhuru Kenyatta handed him some of Ruto’s responsibilities.

Incidentally, President-elect Ruto said in a meeting on Wednesday his administration will not allow civil servants to engage in politics.

Matiang’i was last seen in public was August 7, 2022 when he cast his ballot.

Two days earlier, he addressed a press briefing and assured Kenyans of their safety before and after the polls.

The Transition committee mandate was triggered once the IEBC declared William Ruto the president-elect.

Apart from organizing and programming the swearing-in ceremony of the new president, Kinyua says they will be working on facilitating the handing over and taking over the process, and organizing for security, facilities and personnel of the president-elect.

They will also coordinate the president-elect’s briefings by relevant public officers as well as the communication between the outgoing and incoming heads of state.

The Committee comprises Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, Cabinet Secretary for Interior Dr Fred Matiang’i, Chief of Kenya Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi, Director of National Intelligence Services Major General Philip Wachira Kameru, Inspector of the National Police Service Hillary Mutyambai, and Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi.