President Ruto’s Chief Of Staff And Cabinet Secretaries Clash Over Skewed Appointments

By The Weekly Vision Team

All is not well in President Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza administration, with his close allies getting entangled in serious administrative differences that, if not checked, may spill over and take a political angle. The Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service, Felix Koskei, is at loggerheads with a number of Cabinet Secretaries who have reportedly been suffering in silence. They accuse Mr Koskei of exercising powers that he doesn’t have under the current constitution.

Sources divulge that Mr Koskei has been making appointments to state corporations without the knowledge of the line cabinet secretary in whose docket the state corporations fall. It is claimed this has been going on, and for fear of victimization, the CSs in question decided not to talk about it in the open, even though the CS should be the appointing authority.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi revealed last week that the appointment of Chemelil Sugar MD was done without his knowledge and that it was Mr Kosgey who unlawfully made the appointment. Investigations reveal that the position was advertised, interviews were conducted as per the law, and three names were forwarded to the CS to make an appointment.

Even before Linturi could settle on one of the top three candidates, Koskei went ahead to appoint Moses Kiprop Kitum as the substantive MD of Chemelil Sugar. Aware that he acted outside the law by making such an appointment, which was the duty of the line CS, Koskei went on to formalize the irregular appointment by writing to the CS, informing him that he had appointed Kiprum.

The shocking revelation is contained in a letter dated November 17, 2023 (SH/GM/21/Vol.I(78)) addressed to the CS and signed by Koskei, captioned “Recruitment of Managing Director for Chemelil Sugar Company.” The letter reads in part, “We refer to the letter dated October 20, 2023, ref. No. CSCL/ADMN/BC/MOA/29/4 from the chairperson of the Chemelil Sugar Company board of directors addressed to you and copied to us requesting concurrence for the appointment of managing director of the sugar company.”

According to Koskei, the letter was a subsequent request for a competitive recruitment process in which three candidates were listed as the top three and any of them could be considered for appointment as the substantive MD. The three names shortlisted by the interviewing panel and forwarded to the CS for appointment were Moses Kiprop Kiptum, Jacqueline Amondi Kotonya, and Hellen Jepchumba Biwott.

The letter further reads, “In view of the above and furtherance of circular nos.OP/CAB.9/1A dated November 25, 2022, and April 3, 2023, and based on merit, concurrence is hereby given for the appointment of Moses Kiprop Kiptum as the managing director of Chemelil Sugar Company.”