Uhuru’s Caledonia Residence to Be Gazetted as Official Office After Call with Ruto

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at a polling station in South Africa during elections on May 29, 2024.
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at a polling station in South Africa during elections on May 29, 2024.
Office of the 4th President of the Republic of Kenya

Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta has secured the use of his home next to State House as his official office, following his phone call with President William Ruto on Tuesday, June 11.

Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria confirmed that Uhuru's residence on Nairobi’s Dennis Pritt Road, popularly known as Caledonia, will be gazetted as the Office of the Fourth President.

Kuria, who attended the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, stated that President Ruto, in a briefing to his Cabinet, highlighted that Uhuru requested the use of his Caledonia residence as his official office.

"The home of the retired president is now going to be a gazetted government office, and that is not ordinary. In our understanding, we had done everything according to the Act, but the President, in his wisdom, said he didn't want this issue to go out of hand," CS Kuria told Citizen TV on Tuesday.

This decision follows a war of words between the government and Uhuru over the benefits enshrined in the Constitution. Kuria revealed that one of Kenyatta’s primary concerns was the number of security personnel assigned to him.

The former president indicated that the current detail of 40 officers was insufficient. During the phone call, Ruto and Uhuru discussed increasing this number to better meet security needs. Kuria explained, "He (Uhuru) felt that the 40 policemen guarding him are not enough and it was agreed that he determines whether it is 50, 60, or even 80."

President William Ruto on a phone call.

Additionally, the former president sought extra security for his numerous homes in Nairobi, Kiambu, and Nakuru counties.

The request extended to additional staff, including the renewal of contracts for key personnel such as Kanze Dena, Uhuru’s former spokesperson now serving as secretary of communication, and George Kariuki, the secretary of administration.

Kuria acknowledged the unusual nature of these requests, noting, "Some of the issues are not normal policy issues. For example, is it normal for me to gazette my home as a government office? We know that is not the right thing to do but the President had to do it."

In response to these requests, a special committee has been established to address the former president's grievances.

Members of this committee include Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, who will chair the committee, Interior CS Kithure Kindiki, Police IG Japhet Koome, and CS Kuria himself. "There were issues about other workers working for the retired president and President Ruto put up a team comprising of the Interior CS, IG Police, and myself to look at the issues," Kuria said.

The agreement to form this committee followed a tense period marked by accusations and counter-accusations between the two leaders, who were once close allies.

The resolution came after a series of behind-the-scenes engagements aimed at smoothing over the disagreements.

Reporting by Nation showed that Ruto's 'fixer' Felix Koskei had an initial phone call with Kenyatta on Monday, June 10, which paved the way for the former president's subsequent conversation with Ruto.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta during an address
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta during an address
Office of the Fourth President