Dorcas Mbatia and Mercy Mwai @PeopleDailyKe
Deputy President William Ruto yesterday ruled out any possibility of forming a shared government with the Opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa). Ruto said President Uhuru Kenyatta and himself were not going to talk about sharing positions in government.
Ruto made the remarks as he and President Uhuru addressed mourners at Maili Tatu in Meru county during the funeral service for three bishops of the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) who died recently in a road accident.
The three bishops—Philip Kubai, chairman of the AIPCA Synod from Ntonyiri Diocese, Moses Ntoeruri of Igembe Diocese and Bishop Stanley Karuru from Igembe Central Diocese—died on December 29 in a road accident at Wamumu in Mwea, Kirinyaga county. Ruto further called on all elected leaders to shun from politicising the Cabinet appointments exercise.
“We spent a whole year in electioneering politics which only benefited the politicians and if we continue with the same trend we will short-change Kenyans, instead of building the nation,” he said.
Uhuru, in his speech, steered clear of the Cabinet issue, only issuing a directive that the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) officers be immediately withdrawn from the roads and leave traffic police officers to take charge of the highways.
The DP said there is no time left for anybody in government to start negotiating about positions. He spoke after press reports had indicated that US ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec was pushing for a government of national unity between Nasa and Jubilee. But last evening, Godec clarified that he had been misquoted by some sections of the press, noting he had only called for a national conversation involving all Kenyans.
“Media reports that ambassador Robert Godec asked for a unity Cabinet or pushed for a unity government are wrong. US continues to be committed to a national conversation involving all Kenyans to build national unity, address long-standing issues and resolving divisions exacerbated by the 2017 elections,” the US embassy posted on the official Twitter account.
The DP said nobody has the mandate to supervise the President as he executes his constitutional duties which include making Cabinet appointments. Ruto said Uhuru should be given space to assemble his Government without undue interference.
He said it was the constitutional role of the President to appoint members of his Cabinet without fuss from any quarters. “As the Deputy President and the principal assistant to the President, I want to tell all leaders elected under the Jubilee ticket to give our President the space to appoint members of the Cabinet and to assemble his government without interference,” the DP reiterated.
“Let all of us give President Uhuru time to appoint his Cabinet peacefully without making unnecessary noise because he knows he will give us men and women who are focused, committed, hardworking and people of integrity ready to serve and deliver to for the nation,” added Ruto.
“Those who will be appointed should know that the work given is not theirs, not to benefit themselves or their families. They should know that the appointment does not belong to their tribe and they must offer service to all Kenyans,” he said.
Elsewhere, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi said he was not interested in taking up a cabinet position as speculated from some quarters. Moi was categorical that his role is to serve the people of Baringo as their senator for the next five years and thus is not keen on such an appointment.
Speaking after he was elected chairperson of the Parliamentary Information, Commutation and Technology (ICT) committee, Moi also clarified that he has not been offered any Cabinet position neither is he involved in or playing a part in the exercise.
He said the Cabinet is the sole prerogative of the President, adding that he also learns of the appointments just like other ordinary Kenyans. Some sections of the press had claimed he was privy to Cabinet formation details.