Cabinet ministers accused of plotting to assassinate Deputy President William Ruto met on Tuesday despite the accusations “to push for speedy implementation of development projects in Mt Kenya region.”
Industry Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said “my colleagues went on with the meeting in my absence as I am away in China but I gave my apologies.”
Mr Munya spoke as his Information and Communication Technology colleague Joe Mucheru and Transport CS James Macharia also dismissed claims of wanting to ‘harm’ Dr Ruto.
Asked if the Tuesday meeting was held at La Mada as the previous ones, Mr Munya said the hotel was only one of the places where the team met, adding “we don’t have to meet at one place.”
“The meeting was successful,” Mr Munya said adding that “our aim is usually trying to ensure services are delivered to the population.”
“We have a list of issues picked locally which we are addressing including water, roads and electricity. What we do is tracking implementation and accelerating,” he said.
The former Meru Governor and ex-PNU boss who had expressed interest for the presidency in 2022 said the CSs had been mandated by President Uhuru Kenyatta to address issues affecting Mt Kenya residents.
“We are ministers and if the President tells you go and do something it’s you to decide how to do it,” Mr Munya said.
He said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations was yet to contact him again about the probe on the assassination claims after he and his colleagues appeared at the DCI headquarters on Monday.
The CS said President Kenyatta and Dr Ruto had also not talked to him about the issue.
CABINET NOT SPLIT
Asked if the claims could split the Cabinet, Mr Munya said “everybody in the Cabinet has his or her mandate and has a boss who is the president.”
The Cabinet, he said, also operates under committees-one headed by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and technical one headed by Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho which handles issues before they are brought to the Cabinet.
“The government has been functioning well because of structures established by the President,” Mr Munya said.
He was further non-committal on whether he will sue Dr Ruto for defamation following the assassination claims saying his options were open.
“No formal complaint has been made. I don’t want to jump the gun but as a citizen I am protected by the constitution,” Mr Munya said.
He said his team will continue with its meetings as they are not sanctioned by Dr Ruto and are well intentioned. He added that even the DP usually holds meetings at Weston Hotel in Nairobi that is linked to him.
“Only the President can stop our meetings as he is the one who has told us to address issues affecting our people,” Mr Munya who said he usually chairs the meetings, said.
He added that his team has committees for industry, cooperatives, youth, public service health and education.
“We have been able to understand the issues affecting our people and channel towards specific departments and ensure they are implemented more smoothly. At the end of the day what we want is a satisfied population that is not left out of government,” he said.
Mr Munya said his team had held five meetings.
On his part, Mr Macharia told the Nation the CSs only met to discuss issues raised by Mt Kenya MPs that they could not access government officials to know the status of the development projects.
The MPs, he said, raised concerns that after passing the budget, they are kept in the dark on the progress of the development programmes since they could not access some government officials.
“We met to discuss about the development agenda in Mt Kenya region and not to plot how to eliminate the Deputy President. The claims are untrue. He is our boss. Why would we think of such an illegal move?” he posed.
He added that the CSs have never had issues with the DP and questioned the genesis of the “wild allegations” made against them.
“We serve with the Deputy President in one government and we have one leader who is President Uhuru Kenyatta. We only have one mandate as a government to serve Kenyans and that is the only business we have,’’ he said.
Mr Mucheru said there was nothing wrong in meeting to discuss about Mt Kenya region saying they will continue meeting just as the way they met with other leaders from Rift valley and other regions.
He said they have been meeting PSs and chief executive officers (CEOs) of government parastatals who hail from Mt Kenya region.
He said they usually meet every Tuesday and sometimes on Thursdays and that they have also been meeting leaders from other regions apart from Kenya.
Mr Macharia said the meetings were purely on development issues.
“We have been meeting to discuss developmental issues relative to our region and also interacting with members of parliament,” he told the Nation.