President Ruto should axe his non-performing officials

President William Ruto has been brutally honest in his assessment of the performance of some members of his Cabinet. Quite intriguing is his disclosure that some of them do not even know their roles.

This is not a surprising verdict as the confusion in the administration has been playing out in public. These people have been reading from different scripts instead of collectively articulating the Kenya Kwanza Alliance government’s plans and vision. The President has had to read the riot act, warning of stern action against laxity, negligence and corruption.

On Tuesday, he locked out key officials who arrived late for an official function at State House, Nairobi,. He demanded that officials get out of their cozy offices to explain government policies, plans and achievements to the people.

The President is not amused that he knows more about certain ministries and departments than the Cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries, who do not read and familiarise themselves with information from their technical teams.

The much-publicised clash on August 2, 2023 between ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo and his Interior counterpart, Prof Kithure Kindiki, over the Worldcoin craze further reflects the Cabinet confusion. While Mr Owalo appeared to endorse the digital currency campaign, the Interior chief has banned it.

The Owalo-Kindiki fallout is not the only confirmation that the Cabinet is not working in tandem. Kenyans have been treated to the theatre of the absurd, such as Health CS Susan Nakhumicha’s public meddling in her Interior colleague’s portfolio by purporting to transfer an officer commanding police station (OCS) over a disagreement. Others have made embarrassing statements or engaged in detestable behaviour.

President Ruto should not just lament about the poor show by some of his Cabinet appointees but take firm action against them and quickly weed out the non-performers. He is, after all, the appointing officer and will be blamed for their inefficiency should the government fail to deliver the goods.

Officials who have failed the President by being clueless or making faux pas should not be retained in those portfolios but ejected and the jobs given to more competent Kenyans.