For the first time in the country’s history, all Cabinet Secretaries, Attorney General Paul Kihara as well as all Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers, have been asked to take a Christmas recess with effect from Friday 21st December, 2018 to Monday 7th January, 2019.
In their absence, they are required to designate a duty officer who will be in the office throughout the period. The officer should be senior enough to deal with day to day assignments of their offices.
In a circular, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua said the move was taken by the presidency in the spirit of allowing them to celebrate Christmas with family and friends.
Kinyua, however, hastened to add the decision should not be construed as clearance to travel out of the country.
While the move is one with good intentions, it has already sparked speculation President Uhuru Kenyatta may be readying to effect changes in Cabinet in the wake of a rising spate of corruption and below par performance in some dockets.
There is talk the President could also use the opportunity to promote inclusivity and national unity in light of the “Handshake deal” with Raila Odinga, as he reiterated during his recent trip to Kisumu.
When he named his Cabinet after winning last year’s elections, President Uhuru also named Chief Administrative Secretaries, who rank above PSs, and it is likely they will take charge while the CSs and PSs are away. They have been excluded from the circular.
Here are some of the reactions:
The Night Of the Long Knives is here …. President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent on compulsory leave all Ministers & PSes …. Christmas will be a stressful affair ….. For the 1st time since independence, our President will be the Minister for all Ministries. Moto itawaka.
— Donald B Kipkorir (@DonaldBKipkorir) December 20, 2018
Mambo ndiyo haya… pic.twitter.com/InZgrTRHcr
— Philip Etale (@EtalePhilip) December 20, 2018