A publicly agitated president William Ruto has severed ties with his lieutenants in Executive amid complaints of apparent rogue government officials marking a new dawn of his style of leadership when they arrived late during the signing of the 2023/2024 Ministerial Performance Contracts at State House, Nairobi today morning.
A barrage of Cabinet secretaries, Principal Secretaries and parastatal chiefs attracted the wrath of president Ruto for failing to keep time and arrived late.
“For those who came late and they are members of the Executive, I will be expecting a written explanation and it should not include matters of traffic on why they did not take these performance contracts seriously because if you don’t take them seriously it means that we don’t take the contract with the people of Kenya on performance seriously and that can be a very serious indictment on anybody.” Ruto grumbled.
In what signaled a looming cabinet reshuffle and reorganisations in key government entities, the president alluded that those who came late just dismissed themselves from service.
Among those who arrived late for the presidential event were Interior CS Kithure Kindiki and his Trade, Investments and Industry counterpart Moses Kuria among others.
“I don’t know whether it is this performance contracts that have been going on for 20 years that many people maybe mistakenly think that it is a ritual and that is why people resort to the old incompetent excuses that there was traffic for them not to be in the most important public function.” The president retorted.
“We have a job because we have a contract, if you cannot keep time with your employer you have basically dismissed yourself, it is just as simple as that.” He added.
Ruto emphasised that he holds matters related to service delivery in earnest and anybody callously handling national affairs will be met with harsh criticism.
Performance contracting in government is now in its 20th year of continuous implementation. It is used as a tool for measuring the performance of ministries and agencies in serving Kenyans.
At the same time, the president said he will protect public resources with zeal.
He noted that it will not be business as usual to public servants with affinity to abuse public resources.
The Head of State regretted that it has become fashionable for some people to work in public offices to steal.
The President insisted that corruption must be tamed, especially in the procurement space.
“We will not wait until when money is lost. We will deal with it from the level when we notice its signs.” He noted.
He maintained that there will be no money to steal but to deliver government programmes.
The Head of State asked public servants to be servants rather than masters of the people.
He added that incompetence will not be tolerated.
“We must work harder and better to deliver on our promises. We have an opportunity to change our country.” Ruto said.
Among the leaders’ present were Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, governors, UN Resident Co-ordinator Stephen Jackson, among others, were present.
On his part, Gachagua asked public servants to be service-driven.
He said there is no time to waste.
“Our friendship will only be based on performance. Let us work and do what we have to do for Kenyans.” The DP said.
On his part, Mudavadi said there is need to streamline performance management in the public sector.
This, he noted, will help in planning, budgeting and performance.
“Public sector reforms must be pursued to transform the public sector and create an environment that will boost performance.” The Prime CS noted.