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I was locked out of Uhuru’s State House meeting – DP William Ruto

The row between President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto reached a new high yesterday when the latter claimed he was locked out of a meeting with top State officials.

In the meeting with Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries, Mr Kenyatta demanded the completion of projects, a key deliverable, 17 months to the end of his second and final term.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, who chairs a committee of the Cabinet that coordinates the implementation of government projects, and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua sat at the high table with the President.

Just days ago, Mr Kenyatta told the DP to quit if he’s not happy with his administration.

Yesterday was the second time in seven months that the DP was locked out of such a meeting with State House then saying Mr Kenyatta only wanted to use the Matiang’i-led team forum to lay out his vision for the second half of 2020.

Government failures

“As far as I know, the Deputy President was not invited. But let State House clarify,” the DP’s director of communication Emmanuel Talam told the Nation then.

In the July 2020 meeting, President Kenyatta said no government projects would be implemented without his express say.

Last week, he criticised his deputy for criticising the government for its failures while at the same time taking credit for its successes.

“On the one hand, you criticise the government and on the other, you want to say you have done such and such as government. How many governments are there? If you want to work with us, please do. If you want to criticise, get out,” the President said in Dagoretti South, Nairobi, last week.

The DP responded, arguing that he is in government to stay and is the best person to take over from President Kenyatta.

Yesterday’s meeting, State House said, was for the President to discuss government priorities for the year, including the Big Four Agenda and Vision 2030 projects.

Big Four

Mr Kenyatta has listed universal healthcare, half-a-million affordable houses, food security and manufacturing as his Big Four legacy-driven agenda.

“The President outlined to the officers his vision and priorities for this year,” State House spokesperson Kanze Dena Mararo said.

President Kenyatta also asked the top Executive team to work as a team, even as he called for prudent use of public resources, she added.

For the DP, what started as a warning against his tours across the country has grown into full-blown isolation in government where he no longer attends Cabinet meetings or the exclusive club of the National Security Council.

“Mr Kenyatta has made himself the President and Deputy President. He has gone on a firing spree of those seen to be friends of his deputy,” Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said in a past interview.