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DP Ruto isolated as Matiang’i runs show in Uhuru’s absence

The apparent isolation of Deputy President William Ruto in a government of which he is part of was evident on Tuesday as the State took over the funeral plans of former president Daniel arap Moi.

Mzee Moi died on Tuesday morning aged 95 following a long illness.

With President Uhuru Kenyatta in the US on official duty, the constitution mandates DP Ruto to take charge of all affairs.

But after President Kenyatta announced Moi’s demise in a statement to newsrooms, it is Interior CS Fred Matiang’i who seems to have taken over from where he (the president) left.

The CS was photographed alongside Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) boss Samson Mwathethe, Defence CS Monica Juma, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, PS Karanja Kibicho, service commanders and heads of security agencies at Harambee House.

DE FACTO NUMBER 2

The agenda of the meeting was to plan for the former president’s funeral arrangements alongside the family. But again, DP Ruto, the de facto number two, was missing in action.

“A State Funeral committee chaired by the Head of Public Service as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta will issue a comprehensive statement (on the arrangements) in the course of the day,” confirmed Matiang’i. There was no reference to the DP.

Almost simultaneously, DP Ruto appeared alone in a press conference outside his Harambee Annex offices from where he addressed the nation on the death of his former boss and political mentor.

“We are the people we are today because of Retired President Daniel Arap Moi. He had the vision, acumen, thorough knowledge and unmatched will in tackling our problems,” said Ruto, repeating Dr Matiang’i’s statement that the head of public service would coordinate the funeral arrangements.

Later on Tuesday evening Ruto made a visit to mzee Moi’s Kabarnet home from where he excused himself for not linking up with the earlier due to public commitments.

Observers feel that Dr Ruto has been sidelined in government because of early campaigns. Just last week, President Kenyatta announced that he would no longer send people to follow up on projects across the country.

In the latest incident, it did not help matters that the DP and Moi’s son, Gideon Moi are locked in a cold war of sorts as the latter feels he should be part of President Kenyatta’s succession plan, not the DP.

DP Ruto has in the past also been barred from visiting mzee Moi when he was unwell at Kabarak.