DEPUTY President William Ruto is furious that the financial budget allocated for his office has been transferred back to State House.
Ruto’s office will now have to seek approval from State House for almost every expenditure.
“The Office of the Deputy President is no longer allowed to incur expenditure without approval from the Presidency,” said a senior officer in the Office of the President yesterday.
State House Controller Lawrence Lenayapa referred the Star to the Treasury secretary Henry Rotich whose secretary said he was in meetings yesterday afternoon.
Presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu is in South Africa with President Uhuru Kenyatta and did not respond to our inquiries.
Yesterday Ruto summoned Lenayapa, his Principal Administrative Secretary Daniel Wambura, his chief of Staff Maryanne Keitany and other senior officials including his controller of budget and the chief accountant to a meeting in his Karen office.
“The meeting went on and the DP demanded clarification on a number of issues. Lenayapa provided some answers but asked that he consults with the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and the President on other issues,” said a source at the meeting.
It is not clear when Ruto’s vote was moved to the Office of the President but multiple sources told the Star that it was taken away while he was attending his trial in the Hague.
As a result there have been delays in processing allowances for Ruto’s staff, some who have been with him at the Hague.
“The Office of the DP cannot hire anyone without approval from the Presidency and can not buy tissue paper unless it is approved by the same office. We have no idea what this means,” said a URP MP yesterday.
In another meeting on Tuesday, Ruto almost fired Keitany when he learnt that appointment letters of some staff, some in his press service, had been revoked without his knowledge while he was away.
At that meeting senators Kipchumba Murkomen and Charles Keter reportedly pleaded with Ruto to give Keitany a second chance.
“The boss was very upset with Keitany because he could not understand why the letters of appointments had been revoked yet he personally ensured some of them were written before they joined his office. Some of those affected were senior staff who left their jobs to join him when he took over the office,” said the source.
The new staff have gone for months without pay and some have been grumbling about how Keitany has handled them.
The Deputy President is the principal assistant of the President and deputizes for the President in the execution of his constitutional duties.
Article 134 of the constitution states that when the President is absent or temporarily incapacitated, the Deputy President shall act as the President.
When Uhuru’s trial starts at the Hague in February 2014, Ruto will presumably have to deputise for the president for lengthy periods.
Ruto’s office is run by Keitany but also has an administrative secretary, an economic advisor, and an adviser responsible for food and climate change. He also has his private secretary, communication secretary and legal adviser.
Most of these officials deputise equivalent positions in the Office of the President.
The annual budget for the Office of the President is Sh1.1 billion for development and Sh3.1 billion for recurrent expenditure. The allocation given to the Deputy President was drawn from this vote.