Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i, has continued to subtly mock his nemesis, Deputy President William Ruto, as the wrangle between the duo continues.
Matiang’i, while addressing members of the Rotary Club of Lang’ata on Thursday, June 2, touched the DP’s raw nerves by stating that he performed better in overseeing projects after President Uhuru Kenyatta reorganised the government in January 2019.
This was a thinly veiled attack on the DP as the CS recalled how Ruto was kicked out of government and his oversight role handed over to him.
Uhuru issued Executive Order No. 1 of 2019 where he appointed Matiang’i to head the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICCC).
The decision by the President to transfer the functions from Ruto to Matiang'i birthed the row between the two, even as the DP claimed that his powers were stripped off.
“The reason why you have seen accelerated work happening in the last four years coordinated by NDICCC is that all of us as Cabinet Ministers sitting in an interagency setup cut down bureaucratic systems.
“When the President created the NDICCC, he said the greatest challenge to development is bureaucracy,” Matiang’i noted.
The CS cited the Nairobi Expressway where a foreigner reportedly lauded the government for fast-tracking the project which would ordinarily have taken over four years to complete.
He also underlined that NDICCC, under his leadership, sealed loopholes used to give kickbacks and embezzle government funds.
“That is the job I have been doing for the last four and a half years and I have enjoyed doing it,” the CS stated.
Nonetheless, Matiang’i previously denied reports that he took over the DP roles, insisting that he only served President Uhuru as directed.
Executive Order No 1 of 2019 was among Uhuru’s first orders issued to whip Ruto and his allies.
In June 2020, Uhuru further clipped Ruto's powers through Executive Order 1 of 2020. The Executive Office of The Deputy President was abolished and instead put under that of the President.
Towards the end of his tenure, Uhuru, however, acknowledged a few shortcomings of his administration which he blamed on his DP.
“They say that food prices have risen, electricity cost is high. They speak on fuel. I'm I the one who caused the Russia-Ukraine conflict or brought the pandemic? Instead of assisting me, you are busy yapping and crying around yet you call yourself a leader,” Uhuru poked holes at his DP while addressing workers during Labour Day on May 1.
Ruto, in return, fired back salvos at his boss and trolled him by saying that he was ready to return to work if needed.
“Sorry, my boss. I feel your pain. Those you assigned my responsibilities (CS Matiang’i) and state project (Raila Odinga) have let you down miserably. They bangled our Big Four Agenda, divided our party and wasted our second term. Boss, I am available. Just a phone call away,” the DP tweeted.