Trade minister Peter Munya has declared intentions to reclaim the Meru governor seat, in what could renew his political rivalry with incumbent Kiraitu Murungi.
Mr Munya said, however, that he is currently "on leave" from politics and will concentrate on his role as a Cabinet Secretary.
He said he will allow Mr Murungi, who intends to defend the seat, time to complete his term.
CS Munya said he withdrew his petition against Mr Murungi's election in a show of goodwill, but asked his rival to accept criticism.
He noted that the county's residents expect proper services in all devolved functions.
“I am on leave and the one in office should be allowed to work freely. However, when you are asked a question (about accountability and service delivery) just answer it," he said on Saturday during a funeral at Linkurungu village, Tigania East.
“Everyone is being asked questions of service delivery. As a public servant, you must answer. There are those being asked questions of accountability but instead of answering, they ask what Munya does."
Mr Munya said he is now working with EALA MP Mpuru Aburi, with whom he had a bruising battle over the Tigania East seat.
“If President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga had a handshake, why can’t Mpuru and I embrace ? We are even from the same clan.”
The CS promised that his ministry will open the largest Kenya Cooperative Creameries milk collection centre at Kangeta, a project that he said will begin next week.
Mr Aburi kicked off the debate by criticising Mr Murungi’s administration, saying he regretted campaigning for him ahead of the 2017 general election.
He said that although the county allocated Sh20 million to ward development, its impact is yet to be seen.
“I went to the hills and prayed to God over the gubernatorial seat and vowed to support Munya. When the time comes, Munya will not even campaign, I will mobilise support for him," he said.
"The only thing he will do is print posters and then go home and relax."