Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua will gate-keep direct engagements between international organisations and missions and government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary (CS) Alfred Mutua on Thursday, March 2, clarified that Gachagua's office will handle direct engagements between the organisations involving more than one ministry.
This follows a change in the protocol in the Ministry with CS Mutua allowing the foreign agencies to bypass his office and directly engage MDAs.
"Requests of meetings of cross-cutting nature and that involve more than one Ministry, it is advised that such requests should be made through the office of the Deputy President for the coordination purposes," the letter read in part.
Mutua told Kenyans.co.ke that the move would improve the efficiency of handling business and pointed out that his Ministry should still be notified of all engagements.
"Kenya has been losing a lot of opportunities due to unnecessary bureaucracy. My aim is to make it easier and faster for the Government to interact with our friends for the benefit of our country.
"We have many pending MOUs that could have been completed earlier but traditional bureaucracy has kept them at bay. We want faster (chap chap) agreements and benefit to Kenyans," the CS stated.
In addition, Mutua confirmed that the Foreign Affairs Ministry availed itself the opportunity to renew to all Diplomatic and Consular Missions, United Nations Agencies, and International Organisations in Nairobi, the assurances of its highest consideration.
Foreign Affairs experts Prof Macharia Munene and John Gachie welcomed the decision terming it as a rethinking of foreign policy.
"If the idea is to cut bureaucracy, then it is okay provided CS Mutua's office is kept in the loop. How it is implemented would also determine its effectiveness," Gachie stated.
On his part, Prof Munene cautioned that while the move improves efficiency, then a lot of scrutiny needs to be done.
"A lot of monitoring would be required to ensure that no bad deals are made because then, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would not be held responsible for what happened," he stated.
Dr Alfred Mutua heads the sensitive docket with Korir Sing'Oei as the Principal Secretary. Prior to his appointment, Mutua served as Machakos County Governor for two terms. He was the Government Spokesperson during the late President Mwai Kibaki's tenure.