The government has directed the Ministry of Trade to move its offices from Two Rivers Mall back to the 17th floor of the NSSF building as the duel between CS Moses Kuria and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua threatens to split the ruling coalition.
An insider confirmed to Kenyans.co.ke that the offices are being relocated back to the building owned by the State pension fund, claiming that the government is moving to trim its expenses in line with recent austerity directives.
A separate source, however, claimed that the directive was meant to clip the wings of the outspoken CS who recently received a tongue-lashing from the Deputy President over his remarks on the cost of living and rising fuel prices.
Kuria is known to speak his mind and in the past, he has made controversial statements that rubbed a section of Kenyans the wrong way.
The Trade Ministry moved out of the NSSF building, citing a lack of space to conduct its business as Kuria set his eyes on attracting more investments into the country.
In a letter dated November 7, 2022, Trade Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia said the Ministry had increased its capacity with the creation of the State Department for Investments Promotion aside from the State Department for Trade and the State Department for Industry.
This meant that the Ministry needed a larger office space, informing the decision to lease space in the outskirts of the city.
At the time, Kuria also noted that the space at the NSSF building was not sufficient for their needs which prompted them to request the Kenya Development Corporation (KDC) to host the Office of the CS and support offices at the office complex.
CS Kuria explained that the relocation was a strategic move to provide a world-class environment needed to leave investors with a good impression of the country and subsequently secure deals.
"This is about how we treat investors. I go to the United States, Europe and know the kind of ambience that investors are treated with," he explained during an interview held on February 19, 2023.
He added that the relocation was part of his Ministry's plan to increase foreign direct investments from USD500 million to USD10 billion.