President William Ruto on Wednesday rang Cabinet changes that saw the former Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua lose the strategic Foreign Affairs docket and reassigned to the Tourism and Wildlife Ministry.
After this happened, political analysts likened the transfer to a demotion owing to how influential the Foreign Affairs Ministry is.
Backing up this position is a report by the Associated Press (AP) which linked the transfer to Mutua’s remarks on police deployment to Haiti.
Minutes after the United Nations Security Council voted in favour of Kenya’s bid to send police officers to Haiti, CS Mutua released a statement indicating the government was planning to deploy the police shortly after.
President William Ruto speaking at the launch of the Amazon Web Services Development Centre in Nairobi on October 4, 2023.
The publication took exception to the fact that Mutua issued a statement before President Ruto which specified when Kenya would deploy police officers to the North American country.
Instructively, when he issued his statement, President William Ruto steered clear of making pronouncements on when the police officers would be deployed.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Dr Brian Mutie, a governance, law and democracy expert, hinted at the possibility of a ministerial gaffe.
Mutie explained that there is a two-tier process for issuing official statements on such a weighty matter.
The first, according to the governance expert, is for the relevant ministry to prepare two statements; one for the Head of State and another for the Cabinet Secretary.
The Foreign Affairs team then forwards the President’s speech to his handlers who finetune it and tailor it to suit what the President would ideally like to articulate.
“The problem is that the President’s team does not have the opportunity to look at what the CS’s speech looks like so it does not supersede that of the President in terms of content and autonomy,” Mutie pointed out while speculating on what could have gone wrong.
“It could also be that he was allowed to speak about the technical bit of the mission and the President was supposed to speak on overarching issues that are a bit more encompassing.”
On Mutua issuing a statement before the Head of State, Mutie explained that is usually part of the protocol where a CS speaks first on something that concerns his docket.
According to protocol, the President then reaffirms or gives a different view which now becomes the official cabinet position.
Former Foreign Affairs CS Alfred Mutua during a press briefing on Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
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