President William Ruto has directed members of his Cabinet to ensure that all government departments align their services to the ‘bottom up economic model’ that is part of the Kenya Kwanza election campaign manifesto.
The President said the model should be entrenched in government departments and parastatals to ensure economic transformation.
“It is expected that this will cascade down to the departments, parastatals and the rest of government as a whole. Our approach towards intervention in the economic sector must be aligned to the ‘bottom up economic model’,” Dr Ruto said.
The President spoke on Friday during a retreat for the Executive arm of government at Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club.
“For instance, in the agricultural sector, we are recruiting all farmers so that we can service them to realize more productivity. We are going to use technology this time round to support our farmers with whatever subsidy programmes that we have because we want to uplift them economically,” said the President.
The government has already launched a programme, with support of the National Government Administration Officers (NGAO), to register farmers so as to be supported with subsidized fertilizer and other farm inputs.
“I have told Prof Kindiki (Interior CS) and his team to make sure that all the national government administrative officers support government programmes whether they are implemented by the county or national government for the benefit and interest of the people of the Republic of Kenya,” said Dr Ruto.
The government intends to spend Sh8 billion to subsidize six million bags of fertilizer which will be available to farmers at a lower cost and, hence, bring down the cost of food prices due to mass production.
Dr Ruto assured that the next national budget will prioritize the immediate needs of Kenyans with an aim of lifting their standards of living.
“It is my expectation that every government programme that is in place must assess whatever is in the best interest of Kenyans. We align it to our programmes. As we align our next programme in the budget. The next budget respects the programmes to the interest of Kenyans since the government is a continuous enterprise,” he said.
Ruto is set to meet governors, senators and Members of Parliament from across the country on Saturday in an effort to streamline operations in his administration.
“We are going to have a session tomorrow (Saturday) with the Legislature arm of government and we will agree on how MPs and Senators are going to work with us. This will make it possible for members of the Executive to go before Parliament and explain our plan, prosecute our agenda and answer to the people’s representatives,” said President Ruto.
He added: “Tomorrow we will also have a session with governors because we have the national and county governments”.
The meeting with the governors will explore areas of collaboration on shared functions between the two levels
The President said any administration should ensure the existence of checks and balances and his administration is ready to be subject to accountability and oversight so as to realize if it was heading in the right direction before it is too late.
President Ruto reiterated his commitment to digitize all government services and directed Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries to work with the Ministry of ICT to make sure that this is achieved in the next six months.
“All CSs and PSs must work with the Ministry of ICT so that government services in all departments are digitized in the next six months without bureaucracy. It should be possible for our people to access government services on their phones from the comfort of their homes,” Dr Ruto said.
“It sends a clear signal to us that technology can make this administration not only professional but also, most importantly, efficient. By doing this, we will close loopholes of loss of government revenue. I’m sure that all the 5,000 government services will be digitized,” he added.
Dr Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua chaired the first meeting with Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and members of the advisory team.
The Head of State noted that the retreat will be held at the beginning of every year so as to take stock of what the administration would have done and to project into the future on what needs to be done.
“I have called this retreat so that we can have a meeting of minds and agree on the priorities that are listed in our manifesto and to explain to each and every one of us of the enormous responsibilities and expectations by the people of Kenya in our administration. We must deliver as one government and everyone has a mandate,” Dr Ruto said.
“Do not hold the people of Kenya hostage by allowing files to pile on your desk. Each and every one of us must clear their desk. As we carry out this huge responsibility that is on our shoulders, we must know that we have a contract with the people of Kenya,” he added.
He tasked the Executive to work hard and efficiently to the people of Kenya without any bias.
“The people of Kenya went to the ballot and signed a contract with me and I share it with each and every one of you. On the ballot, there was the name of Rigathi Gachagua and William Ruto and they signed off and we have a contract. It might not be written in any paper unlike the letter of appointment you have. My letter of appointment I received on August 9,” Dr Ruto said.
“That letter of appointment has responsibilities and they are solemn and sacred. My request to you, members of my Cabinet, is that we must protect the interests and resources of the millions of the people of Kenya who pay tax. Those Kenyan people have hired you through me and we are their servants and advocates and that is why we must protect their interests in all our transactions. We must carry their aspirations and must be reflected in every action in government,” the President said.
He called on senior government officials to support the new entrants in his administration and advised them to consult whenever they are stuck in crucial decision making.
“Personally, I want to assure each and every one of you that I will be readily available to mentor the young State officials and assist you to become better public officers. I’m requesting the senior members of this team that have served longer to be gracious and support the younger leaders,” he said.