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Uhuru policies that Ruto has reversed

Despite being retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s his principal deputy for 10 years, President William Ruto has been busy reversing many of the policies enacted by his former boss.

In a span of just four months, since he assumed office as the President of the Republic of Kenya, Dr Ruto has appeared to be a man on a mission to do away with all traces of the Uhuru administration.

Here are some of the key policies from the previous regime that President Ruto has so far reversed:

Huduma Namba – This is the latest change President Ruto has made that was introduced by his predecessor. Huduma Namba, which was meant to be a unique identification number of Kenyans, was launched in 2019 and claimed approximately Sh10.6 billion of taxpayers’ money.

The former ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru in one of the events said Huduma Namba was meant to replace identity cards, adding in future anyone without Huduma Namba would not access government services.

However, Dr Ruto has now reversed the Huduma Namba policy by stating that in the next six months, his administration will ensure 5,000 government services are available in the digital space.

Presidet Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta display the Huduma Namba card samples during the Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20, 2020 in Kisii. PHOTO | PSCU

“I have also asked the Ministry of ICT to work on a digital identity, so that the big Huduma thing that never was, we can finally have as Kenya a digital identity,” the president said.

President Ruto further criticized the move by the last regime to issue Huduma cards to Kenyans, saying the work of the government is to identify Kenyans.

Port operations – The former president had initiated a policy that compelled any person importing goods into Kenya through the Indian Ocean to receive them in Nairobi and Naivasha, and not Mombasa, the original port of entry.

This, Mr Kenyatta argued would not only help in utilizing the multi-billion shillings Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project, but also pay off the huge debt attached to it.

But President Ruto reversed all that within minutes of being sworn in last September when he asked traders to pick up their imported goods from Mombasa. Upon a later visit to South Sudan, President Ruto again changed his mind and offered traders in that country an option to pick their goods from either Mombasa, Nairobi, or Naivasha.

Subsidy on unga and fuel – The former president had placed subsidies on maize flour and fuel prices so as to allow Kenyans to buy these two products a lot cheaper. The move, Mr Kenyatta argued, would cushion Kenyans against the high cost of living largely triggered by external forces.

Residents of Nyeri town protest over the high cost of living on June 30, 2022. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI

But President Ruto would hear none of that. He removed the subsidies days after resuming office, arguing that his government could not afford the programme which was consuming billions of shillings every month. President Ruto also accused a few unnamed cartels of benefiting from the subsidies at the expense of Kenyans.

Miguna Miguna – The controversial lawyer was forced into exile by Mr Kenyatta’s government after a political fallout thanks to his participation in the mock swearing-in of Raila Odinga as the ‘People’s President.’

Amid Miguna’s tireless and spirited efforts to return home from exile, the government kept asking him to ‘regularise’ his paperwork before returning. This even as the government of the day maintained that he a Canadian and not a Kenyan citizen.

Kenyan lawyer Miguna Miguna when arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from Canada on October 20, 2022. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL

But immediately upon assumption of office, President Ruto’s government facilitated Dr Miguna’s speedy and safe return home from Canada. Interestingly, Dr Miguna arrived home on Mashujaa Day (October 20, 2022), a public holiday which Kenyans remember and celebrate national heroes.

Police uniform – Mr Kenyatta’s government introduced a new police uniform among other police reforms. But Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua would later liken the royal blue uniform to the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) Women Guild’s uniform.

Mr Gachagua even claimed that police officers had lamented to him about the uniform asking for a change back to the old ones.

Police officers with the new uniform during the National Policing conference at the Kenya School of Government on September 13, 2018. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO
Police officers with the new uniform during the National Policing conference at the Kenya School of Government on September 13, 2018. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO

Consequently, President Ruto ordered the return of the old uniform. Poor quality and the shortage of the widely unpopular royal blue uniforms being cited as the reason behind the reintroduction of the old uniforms.

Police officers on duty have since been spotted with the old sky blue shirts and navy blue trousers for male officers and white shirts and navy blue trousers for female officers.