How President Ruto is using Executive Orders to reverse Uhuru’s policies
Even before leaving the venue of his swearing in ceremony at Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani on September 13, President William Ruto immediately swung into action by issuing his first executive orders.
While delivering his maiden speech after being sworn in as the fifth president of Kenya, the president issued an executive order for the appointment of six judges who had been rejected by retired president Uhuru Kenyatta over alleged integrity issues.
The head of state appointed George Odunga, Aggrey Muchelule and Weldon Korir to the Court of Appeal while Judith Omange and Evans Makori were appointed as Environment and Land Court judges. A day later, he presided over their swearing-in at State House.
On the same day of swearing in, President Ruto issued an executive order for increased funding to the Judiciary. He ordered for the allocation of an additional Sh 3 billion annually for the Judiciary for the next five years.
The head of state praised the Judiciary for standing firm and successfully arbitrating three presidential election petitions independently. The president said his administration will operationalize the Judiciary Fund to support the bottom-up scale.
This order was a reversal of an announcement made by outgoing Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani on April 7, 2022 to the effect that the Judiciary would operate its own funds.
This come after years of fighting to have 25 per cent of the total Sh3.3 trillion budget. The Judiciary was allocated at least Sh75 billion.
In another executive order issued shortly after he took his oath of office, President Ruto lowered the price of a 50kg bag of fertilizer from Sh6,500 to Sh 3,500. Prior to that, retired President Kenyatta’s government had only lowered the prices of maize flour.
President Ruto also said his government will empower farmers across the country to reduce the cost of living by lowering the cost of producing food.
“Our priority intervention is to make fertiliser, good quality seeds and other agricultural inputs affordable and available. For the short rains, we have made arrangements to make 1.4 million bags of fertilizer available at Sh 3,500 for a 50kg bag down from the current KSh 6,500,” the head of state said.
On the other hand, President Kenyatta’s government on July 20, 2022 announced a Sh5 billion fertilizer subsidy which he said was meant to spur productivity and close the cycle of food shortages in the country.
Another execute order that President Ruto has since issued is the transfer of the National Police Service’s budget from the Office of the President to the Office of the Inspector General of Police who will be the new accounting officer. Dr Ruto noted in the past the operations of the police service had been hampered by continued financial dependence on the Office of the President.