- “The Deputy President Fred Matiangi receiving the President thereafter introduce other Cabinet members,” – Senator Murkomen.
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 16, 2020 – In what may appear a protocol breach when the President arrived at the Manyani Airstrip on Friday, Deputy President William Ruto was publicly humbled.
It is not in doubt that the acrimony between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy is now snowballing into constitutionally defined quarters. It is a universal standard that the President is always received by his deputy whenever they are in the same function but it was different this time round on Friday.
When the President arrived for the Cabinet retreat, he was received by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i as his Deputy President William Ruto watched. Uhuru bowed down to Matiang’i before doing the same to Ruto due to the Ministry of Health protocols.
According to protocols, the president should be received by the deputy president. If the DP is not around, he should be received by the speaker of the National Assembly, leader of the majority or any Cabinet secretary available.
This raised eyebrows as Ruto allies, including Elgeyo Marakwet Kipchumba Murkomen teased Matiang’i. “The Deputy President Fred Matiangi receiving the President thereafter introduce other Cabinet members,” he tweeted.
He added: “Those of us who didn’t witness the last days of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta ‘will see things’ in the next 22 months.”
Nominated MP Millicent Omanga said the breach reminds Kenyans of the old days days when former and late President Daniel Moi ruled. “This reminds me how Moi was frustrated as vice president by people who didn’t want him to ascend to the throne. The rest is history,” she said.
Urgent new efforts are under way to reconcile President and his Deputy as the international community expressed alarm over rising political tension.
Details of reconciliation efforts between Uhuru and Ruto emerged three days after national prayers on Saturday at State House where the tension and profound differences between the two Jubilee heavyweights was exposed for all to see.
There was jumbled protocol, the two men sat apart and left by separate exits. A group of influential religious leaders has separately held lengthy talks with both the President and the DP. It was anticipated the two could call a joint press conference to announce a ceasefire.
The head of state is reported to have expressed concerns about insults by Ruto’s allies directed at his mother, former First Lady Ngina Kenyatta – among a host of other issues.
Last month, Uhuru’s cousin Beth Mugo linked Ruto to the attacks, saying Ruto had failed to come out to condemn his lieutenants’ offensive words.
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