Five Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries have locked horns with the Governors, who have accused them of engaging in politics despite holding public offices.
Three CSs and two PSs have been pot on spot for undermining sitting governors as they eye the gubernatorial seats in the 2022 elections.
The moves by the Cabinet have rattled the county chiefs who have accused them of going against the law by engaging in politics while still holding public offices.
The officers have occasionally been seen touring the counties in the name of inspecting the government projects but are yet to make public their interests in the governor’s seat. Their body language and the animosity between them and the governors has however not gone unrecognized.
The officers include Cabinet Secretary; Peter Munya (Agriculture), Sicily Kariuki (Water), and Joe Mucheru (ICT) while the two Principal Secretaries are; Karanja Kibicho (Interior and National Coordination) and Joseph Irungu (Water).
CS Peter Munya has been accused of undermining the Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi while his counterparts, Sicily Kariuki and Joe Mucheru have been accused of using their positions in the cabinet to frustrate to undermine Nyandarua governor Francis Kimemia and Nyeri governor Mutahi Kahiga respectively.
In Kirinyaga County, the embattled Governor Ann Waiguru has accused PS Karanja Kibicho of orchestrating her recent political nightmares. Waiguru went ahead to accuse the PS of sponsoring her recent impeachment by the County Assembly.
While in Murang’ a County, Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has been engaged in a fierce confrontation with Water PS Irungu. The Governor has accused the PS of undermining his leadership while preparing to run for the gubernatorial seat come 2022.
CS Kariuki has been making “development tours” in Nyandarua county, rattling Governor Kimemia and his supporters. Kariuki is however yet to declare her interest publicly. Kimemia has accused the CS of using the state resources to launch her bid to dethrone him in 2022 polls.
While she was at the Ministry of Health, Kariuki was notorious for organizing high-profile medical camps in Nyandarua county, such as opening the Ndaragwe Kenya Medical Training College.
While distributing subsidized fertilizers to farmers at Njabini Farmers Training Center yesterday, Governor Kimemia challenged the CS to declare her interest in his seat instead of hiding behind development tours.
“We see people going around the county pretending to be inspecting government projects when we know they are campaigning,” Kimemia said while referring to the Water CS Sicily Kariuki.
In Meru, Governor Kiraitu has occasionally complained about Munya’s forays. The differences between Munya and Kiraitu Murungi came into limelight when Munya told off the governor during the BBI rally at Kinoru Stadium.
In a statement to a local daily, Munya refuted the claims that he is using his office to seek a political comeback in Meru County.
“And who is he (Kiraitu) undermining to advance his (re-election) bid,” CS Peter Munya questioned Kiraitu in a text message to the People Daily.
The soft-spoken ICT CS, Mucheru (Pictured above) has also been dragged in the war between Nyeri Governor Kahiga and his deputy Caroline Karungu. The CS has been accused of helping the Deputy Governor in belittling her boss.
The accusation against the ICT CS comes after an incident in May last year when Mucheru and Kahiga presided over the launching of a film hub project at the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology. At the event, Kahinga arrived earlier while the protocols demand that as the Governor, he ought to have welcomed the CS. But when Mucheru’s motorcade arrived, Karugu alighted from the same motorcade as the CS, a move that was viewed as disrespect to the governor.
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Karugu’s move was viewed as bad behavior by local leaders and condemned her actions.
Nyeri governor has however denied the fact that he and the ICT CS are in political rivalry.
“There is nothing personal between me and CS Mucheru. Those saying there are differences between us are not saying the truth,” Kahiga told the People Daily.