Ruto tasks Cabinet to deliver on campaign promises

President William Ruto addresses wananchi during the launch of the Sagana-Kathaka-Thiguku, Mahigaini-Kagio-Kangaita roads at Thiguku trading centre in Kirinyaga County on November 18, 2023, assuring Kenyans that the government has put in place measures to regulate fuel prices and ensure there is no further increase in the coming months. Jsoeph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

President William Ruto has told Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) and Principal Secretaries (PSs) to emphasise delivering the government’s campaign pledges to Kenyans.

The president said he deliberately established the office of the Chief of Strategy Execution, domiciled in his office to ensure that ministries, Departments and Agencies deliver as per the pre-election manifesto.

He also pledged to run his government on an open-door policy to allow for elaborate consultation and sharing of ideas with the CSs and PSs to ensure a better Kenya.

“We must remain above board and consistent with decisions about government programmes and directives every time. We must be confident when explaining ourselves,” he told the CSs and PSs at the close of a two-day retreat at a Nairobi hotel to take stock of the Kenya Kwanza government’s performance.

He added, “When called before parliament or any other institutions, be confident in your responses because we are a country rooted in the rule of law.”

This commitment comes at a time when some CSs have recently been at loggerheads with Members of Parliament, at times publicly tearing into each other over the running of government affairs.

The conduct of some of the CSs has been called into question as MPs accused them of snubbing invites to respond to critical questions touching on their offices.

The Head of State stressed the fact that his Cabinet was ultimately accountable to Kenyans.

“We must follow through with some of the decisions made and programmes planned. The manifesto remains our single guiding tool in running government,” Dr Ruto added.

He disclosed, “That’s why I established the office of Executive in my office. Mr Adan Mohammed will be knocking to ask about the implementation of decisions we have made. He will be doing that on my behalf.”

He stated that he rarely engages with the CSs and PSs on execution of their roles but they will now have to contend with Mr Mohammed’s mandate.

In course of doing business

“There will be a tracker in my office, on every decision and commitment we undertake. We will have a follow-up, including on the manifesto or in course of doing business,” Dr Ruto told the officers.

Already, the president has co-opted United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Secretary General Cleophas Malala to sit in Cabinet to ensure decisions are taken in line with their manifesto are implemented.

The president has therefore promised to be a leader in the execution of his government’s promises.

“It is my intention to support everyone. I am available for consultation, share ideas and discuss our mandate. This includes how state departments are run, and what ministries are charged with,” said Mr Ruto.

During the CSs signing of performance contracts at State House three months ago, to the astonishment of Kenyans, DR Ruto expressed concern that some of his top-ranking officials remained out of cue and needed to quickly fathom their mandate.

To deliver as expected, Dr Ruto also underscored the importance of public participation in running government.

“Public participation is not sterile but a live instrument in the constitution. Ultimately, it’s about the people, therefore any policy proposed, pieces of legislation drafted, it is mandatory and healthy to carry the people along,” he emphasized.

The Kenya Kwanza government has come under criticism over its interpretation of public participation, especially in heeding Kenyans’ demands. The consideration of the Finance Bill, 2023 attracted the highest number of public submissions, yet the law that resulted from it didn’t reflect the people’s will in totality.

The president argued that if his top appointees were to work as diligently as promised, history would judge them favourably. “We have a historic opportunity as a team to change Kenya. We just need to work together, and make the right decisions always. The success of everyone will be the collective success of all while failure will also deal equal measure,” he argued.