President Ruto leads cabinet retreat at Humphrey Kariuki's luxury resort

President Ruto, CSs and PSs in Nanyuki for Executive retreat

President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua are chairing a meeting with Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and other top government officials at the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club - a Nanyuki-based luxury hotel owned by billionaire businessman Humphrey Kariuki.

The agenda of the meeting is to evaluate the performance of his administration since he assumed office on September 13, 2022. 

The high end hotel, which re-opened in July 2022 after a two-year closure due to Covid-19, is nestled in the highlands and boasts magnificent views of Mount Kenya. It is run by French hospitality giant Accor. 

Businessman Humphrey Kariuki

Businessman Humphrey Kariuki. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The retreat is a boon for the facility and the neighbouring Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy and Animal Orphanage, also owned by Mr Kariuki. The embattled tycoon was among Dr Ruto's recent appointees to the National Investment Council. 

Realise manifesto

William Ruto Deputy Rigathi Gachagua Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi

President William Ruto (centre) with Deputy Rigathi Gachagua (left) and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi during the senior government officials retreat at Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki on January 5, 2023. 

Photo credit: James Murimi | Nation Media Group

For the better part of Thursday, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi chaired the session which he said was aimed at harmonising, bonding and creating synergy to realise President Ruto’s manifesto as promised during the election campaigns. While opening the four-day retreat, he called on all government officials to shun politics and focus on service delivery.

“Politics are now behind us. It is our key mandate to focus on delivering the best to Kenyans rather than talking too much. We are here to evaluate ourselves on how we have performed as a government compared to the manifesto that we presented to Kenyans,” Mr Mudavadi said.

He also urged Kenyans to give the Kenya Kwanza administration time to revive the economy and fulfill all its pledges.

“We have fulfilled various pledges that are meant to revive the economy. Of course, all promises cannot be fulfilled in a day and that is why we are here to plan,” said the Prime CS.

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen said the meeting offers all government ministries and agencies an opportunity to work harmoniously towards a common goal of improving the country’s economy.

“This meeting gives us an opportunity to understand how to work together across all ministries,” he said. 

Simon Chelugui

Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui addresses the media during the senior government officials retreat at Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki on January 5, 2023. 

Photo credit: James Murimi | Nation Media Group

Cooperatives CS Simon Chelugui said his ministry is keen to actualise the bottom-up economic model.

“This administration was elected on the basis of lifting Kenyans from the bottom and raising their living standards,” Mr Chelugui said.

During the closed door conference, the Executive discussed the vision and manifesto of the new administration.

Simon Chelugui

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi (right) with State House Comptroller Josphat Nanok at Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki on January 5, 2023. 

Photo credit: James Murimi | Nation Media Group

Dr Ruto and Mr Gachagua are also expected to meet with local leaders from the region. Leaders from Laikipia and Nyeri counties are keen to push for construction of key mega dams so as to mitigate effects of drought.

On Sunday, President Ruto will grace an interdenominational prayer meeting at Nanyuki Stadium.

Austerity measures

The retreat comes at a time when the Ruto administration has directed austerity measures in a bid to revise budgets downwards and cut wasteful spending. After assuming office, President Ruto told Kenyans to brace themselves for tougher times while directing the National Treasury to slice this year’s recurrent budget by Sh300 billion, citing the country’s difficult financial situation, coupled with limited revenue.

Consequently, the National Treasury had directed that state departments hold government meetings and trainings in their boardrooms rather than hotels and resorts that usually host such gatherings.