Ruto turns pressure on Cabinet Secretaries
President William Ruto has turned on the pressure on his Cabinet, while calling for increased accountability and efficiency in government operations.
Speaking during the Performance Contract Signing for the senior government officials at State House, Nairobi, on August 1, 2023, the Head of State emphasized the need to address the challenges facing government operations, including negligence and corruption.
He said: “I shall hold every officer serving in government, beginning with you, to account for both their performance in service delivery and stewardship of public resources. I shall deal with cases of negligence, misappropriation, embezzlement, theft, or other misconduct or corruption in relation to public resources summarily and decisively. You are hereby duly notified.”
The stern warning comes in the wake of growing concerns over the performance and conduct of government officials.
President Ruto highlighted the gravity of their responsibilities in serving the Kenyan people and stressed the need for upholding integrity in their actions.
He also stressed the need for discipline while serving in public office.
“We have a job because we have a contract. If you cannot keep time with your employer, you have basically dismissed yourself, it is just as simple as that. For those who came late and are members of the Executive, I will be expecting a written explanation, and it should not include matters of traffic on why they did not take these performance contracts seriously. Because if you don’t take them seriously, it means that we don’t take the contract with the people of Kenya on performance seriously, and that can be a very serious indictment on anybody,” President Ruto stated.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki and his Trade counterpart Moses Kuria are among those who reportedly turned up late for the meeting.
President Ruto further expressed his deep concern over the lack of information and knowledge exhibited by some ministries and departments. He highlighted instances where government representatives appeared uninformed during interactions, leading to a situation where he possessed more knowledge on specific issues than his advisors.
“I speak to many of you on the phone. Many times, I call you to my office, we interact. In different places, I ask you questions – you know that – on programs, on projects. And, I find that many of you – the people I speak to – don’t even know what is going on in your ministries or departments. You have very scant information. The moment I know more than you in your ministry, then you must begin to understand that something is very wrong. Because, by constitution, you are supposed to advise me,” the President expressed his dismay.
The change in tact and focus on service delivery comes at a time the Head of State is facing a number of challenges including taming the high cost of living, runaway foreign debt, and pressure from opposition.