What you need to know:
- Dr Ruto told the CSs to traverse the country to get to understand the challenges facing Kenyans and propose solutions.
- He advised them to be prepared to work long hours as part of his administration’s push to urgently fix the economy and fulfil campaign pledges Kenya Kwanza made in the run-up to the polls.
- He said there is no time for a honeymoon and celebration for the 24 men and women in the Executive and asked them to immediately get down to work.
President William Ruto yesterday exhorted his Cabinet to work hard to deliver his agenda and to succeed, as the 24 Cabinet secretaries took their oath of office yesterday.
“You have no option but to succeed. Failure is not an option. We have a country to look after. We have a plan to implement, and we have the people of Kenya watching us,” Dr Ruto said after witnessing the swearing-in of the 22 CSs, Attorney-General Justin Muturi, Secretary to the Cabinet Mercy Wanjau, and Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Felix Koskei.
Offering his full support to all Cabinet members, Dr Ruto told the CSs to traverse the country to get to understand the challenges facing Kenyans and propose solutions.
He advised them to be prepared to work long hours as part of his administration’s push to urgently fix the economy and fulfil campaign pledges Kenya Kwanza made in the run-up to the polls.
He said there is no time for a honeymoon and celebration for the 24 men and women in the Executive and asked them to immediately get down to work.
Mr Koskei was the first to be sworn in by outgoing Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, who oversaw the exercise after a stellar 42-year career in the civil service that saw him serve in the administrations of presidents Daniel Moi, Mwai Kibaki, and Uhuru Kenyatta.
President Ruto thanked Mr Kinyua for ensuring a smooth transition.
The Head of State instructed the new CSs to act within the law and adopt the principle of collective responsibility, warning them that they would be dismissed if they failed in their responsibilities.
“I expect from you, just like I do from all other public servants, to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law to be at the centre of our administration.
“Ensure that our country is not run at the whims of individuals, but by the dictates of the Constitution,” Dr Ruto said.
He assured Kenyans that his Cabinet will serve the people equally [since] the CSs did not take an oath to serve their friends or regions, but all Kenyans.
The President told the CSs to be one another's keeper and operate on the principle of collective responsibility to ensure that each ministry succeeds. He said there should be no blame games.
To ensure a smooth working relationship between the Executive and the Legislature, Dr Ruto told the ministers to work closely with Parliament, the representatives of the people.
He said the Executive has struck a deal with the Legislature to allow CSs to appear before the plenary and answer questions directly from members.
This, President said, will not only enhance the accountability of his administration but also provide an opportunity for the Executive to explain its agenda to the House for interrogation.
For the CSs to appear in Parliament, the House Standing Orders must be amended by the whole House.
Today marks the first full day in the office for President Ruto’s full Cabinet, with expectations rising every day for the delivery of his campaign pledges.
The key Cabinet Secretaries the President will be looking to in resolving some of the currently pressing matters facing the country are Simon Chelugui (Cooperatives and MSMEs), and Mithika Linturi (Agriculture and Livestock Development).
Also in the team are Kithure Kindiki (Interior and National Administration), Ezekiel Machogu (Education), and Njuguna Ndung’u of the National Treasury.
The President’s supporters are awaiting Mr Chelugui’s to give guidelines on the eagerly awaited hustler fund, including the yet-to-be-determined interest rate.
During vetting, he said the fund will not be free but will attract a single-digit interest rate, which he put at nine per cent.
However, he told the committee that discussions are still going on and the rate might come down.
President Ruto announced during his address on Mashujaa Day that he will launch the ‘Hustler Fund’ on December 1.
For Mr Machogu, parents are waiting for his direction on the Competency-Based Curriculum. A task force is collecting views from the public on how to improve it.
After surmounting challenges over his ongoing cases in court during his vetting last week, Mr Linturi is getting into office at a time of an emotive discussion on when the cost of unga will come down.
On Tuesday, while launching a housing project in Langa’ta constituency, President Ruto urged the public to give him one year to reduce the cost of flour.
Farmers will be looking to Mr Linturi to provide fertiliser at Sh2,500 instead of the market rate of Sh6,000, as promised by Dr Ruto during the campaigns.
Kindiki is expected to champion much-needed police reforms. He is also carrying the burden of fulfilling the pledge of reviewing police salaries.
President Ruto is now waiting for the vetting of principal secretaries, who are the technical officers in ministries for his Executive to be complete.