When the President is away, his deputy automatically takes over all government functions and is technically the acting head of state until the president jets back to the country. With President Uhuru Kenyatta away on a three visit to the Caribbean nation of Barbados, DP William Ruto should be in charge and all members of Cabinet have to brief him on important events being undertaken by their ministries. However, that was not the case. As the country was commemorating the International Youth Day, a very important day since it touches on the youth, DP William Ruto was a no show. Just like last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta was supposed to address the conference in Gigiri but it coincided with his international engagements this time.
It is in the public domain that the CS for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, Prof Margaret Kobia is not in good terms with Deputy President William Ruto. This is after the damning allegations that the CS, together with three other Cabinet Secretaries were holding night meetings at the La Mada Hotel to plot for the assassination of the DP. These claims are said to have split the Cabinet right in the middle with the accused members taking issue with Ruto for using their name to play politics. Since then, CS Kobia and DP Ruto do not see eye to eye.
Therefore it begs the question whether the strained relationship between the two led to her ignoring DP Ruto and instead settling of AU Envoy Raila Odinga, whom she had visited two days earlier to brief on government preparations regarding the event.
During today’s event, Raila Odinga was the Chief Guest and was accorded presidential treatment by the government officials present. He recognized the importance of the youth demography in the country, also terming it a curse and blessing.
”Our continent is the youngest in the world in terms of demography and the youth bulge can either be a blessing or a curse depending on how its used. We must work at making education provide youth with a realistic, affordable and attractive path to productive employment ” said Raila.
Odinga also congratulated the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs for successfully organizing the event which attracted close to 2,000 attendees across the country.