Uhuruto Beef: How Ruto Plans to Tame Fallout With His Deputy

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta greets Deputy President William Ruto on arrival at the KWS Law Enforcement Academy in Manyani, Taita Taveta County on October 16, 2020
    President Uhuru Kenyatta greets Deputy President William Ruto and Interior CS Fred Matiang'i on arrival at the KWS Law Enforcement Academy in Manyani, Taita Taveta County on October 16, 2020
    PSCU
  • Deputy President William Ruto is keen to avoid the fate that befell him when should he form the next government after the August 9 General Election.

    In a coalition agreement among the Kenya Kwanza Alliance members dated Sunday, May 8, Ruto demarcated the roles of his deputy, who will also be chosen from the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

    In the roles, the Deputy President will permanently have his duties as per the agreement, which is a departure from the vague definitions contained in the Constitution that squarely describes the DP as the President's principal assistant.

    In Kenya Kwanza, the DP will be tasked with chairing cabinet committees, overseeing the implementation of Cabinet decisions as well as coordinating intergovernmental relations between the National Government and County Governments.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) greets his deputy William Ruto (right) during the Jamhuri Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi on Sunday, December 12, 2021
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) greets his deputy William Ruto (right) during the Jamhuri Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi on Sunday, December 12, 2021
    PSCU

    Other roles include coordinating the planning and supervising the implementation of development partners ' funded programmes and projects as well as the coordination of Constitutional Commissions and independent offices in matters that require the intervention of the National Government including but not limited to budgets and policy frameworks for their operation.

    Additionally, under the Kenya Kwanza deal, the DP will perform any other function as may be assigned by the President.

    The agreement cements the DP's roles which may not be subject to change depending on their relationship with the Head of State at any given time.

    According to the Constitution, the DP is described as the principal assistant of the President who shall deputise the President in the execution of the functions.

    The Constitution also provides that the DP performs the functions conferred by this Constitution and any other functions of the President as the President may assign without holding any other state office.

    Since the handshake in 2018, Ruto has lamented that his roles, especially that of spearheading development projects, were usurped by the reorganization of government that gave Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i more powers, including overseeing State projects.

    The DP argued that the Head of State designated Matiang'i as the Super CS who took over enforcement of cabinet decisions, leaving him powerless.

    Since then, the DP and President Uhuru Kenyatta have generally had a bad working relationship, especially during the second term of their administration.

    While Ruto claims that the handshake deal between Kenyatta and the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga derailed the Jubilee agenda, the President accused his number two of being over obsessed with power.

    Deputy President William Ruto addresses delegates on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
    Deputy President William Ruto addresses delegates on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
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    William Ruto