Uhuru prepares to send inept top officials home
A major re-organisation of government affecting Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and top security commanders is in the offing as President Uhuru Kenyatta moves to rein in insecurity, corruption and general non-performance in his administration.
The People Weekend had learnt that the impending purge was top on the agenda of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s four-day retreat at the Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri where he met his deputy William Ruto and other top officers from various government departments.
The President summoned Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and National Intelligence Service Director General Philip Kameru as well as newly appointed Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe for discussions on corruption, poor coordination, incompetence and sabotage in the security ranks and general performance in government.
The President is said to have read the riot act over frequent lapses in the security services and also expressed his dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Garissa terror attack was handled. During the meeting, it emerged that the Garissa attack, which left 148 people dead, majority of them students, was a result of lack of action on intelligence.
“The President decried lack of coordination and it was resolved that, henceforth, there shall be enhanced sharing of intelligence at lower levels of the security command facilitate quick action,” said a source familiar with the discussions. Boinnet, who is barely two months old in office, is said to have cited sabotage from top police commanders.
It was then agreed that there is to be a complete overhaul of commanders to stem the sabotage and ensure smooth command. Already, Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Kenya Police Grace Kaindi has been served with a retirement notice and is to proceed on terminal leave on July 1 pending retirement in October.
But sources indicated the government is exploring other ways of sending her home before then. As our sister paper, the People Daily reported exclusively yesterday, she has been accused of incompetence, tribalism and abetting corruption. Fifty five top commanders are also likely to be sent home for corruption, among other ills.
During the Sagana meetings, it was also pointed out that there was a lot of fear among Kenyans due to messages being spread by al Shabaab over impending attacks in various parts of the country. And during yesterday’s Labour Day celebrations, the President’s tough talk on service delivery by his government was quite telling.
“From now on, I will not be saying much. You will just see action,” he said. At Sagana, the President also discussed a Cabinet shuffle in a meeting where he was joined by Ruto. The President and the DP are said to have put final touches on changes that will affect Principal Secretaries and Cabinet secretaries.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) two weeks ago advertised for the positions of Principal Secretaries in a move that seems to have locked the fate of those on suspension. The PSC announced that it was inviting applications from qualified persons who wish to be considered for the position of principal secretary.
Applicants, according to the advert, ought to send their application letters to the Secretary of PSC before April 21 but the deadline was later extended by six days. The advert raised eyebrows given that currently, there is no vacant position as no principal secretary has died, resigned or been incapacitated.
However, Principal Secretary for Defence Mutea Iringo, Nduva Muli, Principal Secretary State Department of Transport, Patrick Omutia Principal Secretary for Mining and James Teko, Principal Secretary, State Department of Water are on suspension after President Uhuru submitted the “List of Shame” to Parliament that contained their names and other senior government officials.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has already submitted the files of the four PSs and five Cabinet secretaries to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko for action, and the advert by the PSC could signal the end of the mentioned PSs in the public service. Sources had earlier indicated that nine Principal Secretaries are to be sacked for non-performance and corruption.
The President is also said to have consulted with the government’s principal legal advisor, Attorney General Githu Muigai, on the purge at the EACC and the effects it would have on the ongoing cases.
It is understood that the President’s meeting with the AG informed the latter’s statement on Thursday in which he discounted claims by the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) that the current composition of EACC does not allow it to function fully and legally.
During his stay at Sagana, the President also met his chief advisor on constitutional affairs Abdikadir Mohammed, to discuss complaints over the recent parastatal appointments.