How Ex-UK Prime Minister Revamped Uhuru's Office

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta with former UK Prime Minister Toby Blair at State House
    President Uhuru Kenyatta with former UK Prime Minister Toby Blair at State House
    PSCU
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has disclosed how the idea of creating the President’s Delivery Unit was inspired by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. 

    Speaking during the Second African Delivery Exchange Conference 2020 virtual conference, on Tuesday, November 24, President Kenyatta explained how reorganizing his office was critical in the implementation of policies to improve the lives of Kenyans. 

    A source at PDU told Kenyans.co.ke that after Blair bounced off the idea to Uhuru, the former UK PM helped advise on how the team would operate. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair at State House
    President Uhuru Kenyatta with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair at State House
    PSCU

    “In my discussions with Blair, he shared his own perspectives of pioneering a delivery mechanism within his government. He outlined how embracing delivery principles played a transformative role in the achievement of key development outcomes for the British people, especially around the reform of the education and healthcare sectors.  These lessons proved to be critical learning points.

    “In 2015 during my first term, I took the decision to establish a delivery unit within my office, with the initial mandate to flag, for my attention, institutional gaps that compromised the successful implementation of my administration’s development priorities,” Uhuru explained.

    After recognizing the complexity of the government, the president mandated PDU to serve as the critical bridge between the political pledges and the domestication of these priorities within the public service bureaucracy. 

    It was the team’s job to help in the alignment of expectations amongst the various actors involved in the successful delivery of flagship programmes.

    PDU is a key component in the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee that oversees the delivery and oversight of national government development programmes and projects.

    In January 2019, President Kenyatta issued Executive Order No. 1 that established a 4-tier development committee and put the PDU under Interior CS Fred Matiang’s docket, having been previously led by State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita. 

    In 2020, the team unveiled its new headquarters at the Ksh1.4 billion Tourism Fund. The team is made up of about 45 people, including former journalists and ex-politicians.

    Some of the media personalities include Nixon Ng’ang’a who was formerly the Managing Editor at Royal Media Services, Mumbi Warui (ex-Citizen TV Business reporter) and Laban Cliff Onserio who was picked from the NTV business newsdesk.

    Others include Patrick Ngatia, who was moved from the NEMA Board, politician Silvanus Onyango, who was the Kasipul Kapondo MP, Michael Rotich (Bomet politician) and Boniface Kinoti (former Buuri MP) among others.

    The other staff at the unit joined in 2015 alongside Andrew Wakahiu, Lee Kyonze, Eliud Lelerai, Nyamu Githaka and Cindy Kuria who are directors in the presidency overseeing various sectors of the economy.

    PDU Secretary Andrew Wakihiu and Interior CS Fred Matiang'i with other PDU staff at their new offices at Tourism Fund Building on September 23, 2020
    PDU Secretary Andrew Wakihiu and Interior CS Fred Matiang'i with other PDU staff at their new offices at Tourism Fund Building on September 23, 2020
    File