Deputy President William Ruto has for the second time in a week missed a key event presided over by his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, raising queries on the working relationship between the two leaders, who have recently publicly differed over the ongoing efforts to change the Constitution through the BBI.
The DP, after missing out at the launch of the BBI signature collection drive held at KICC last Wednesday, was the only member of the National Security Council (NSC) who failed to attend a crucial meeting held from Thursday evening to Saturday, in which key national security matters were deliberated.
The NSC is the highest decision making organ on matters security in the country.
It consists of the President, DP, Foreign Affairs CS, Defence CS, Internal Security CS, the Attorney General, the Chief of Kenya Defence Forces, the Director General of the National Intelligence Services and Inspector General of the National Police Service.
The council exercises supervisory control over national security organs and performs any other functions prescribed by law.
Skipped Uhuru Meeting
The weekend meeting held at the Kenya Defence Forces Kamanga Military Camp in Samburu County was attended by three Cabinet secretaries — Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Monica Juma (Defence) — and Attorney General Paul Kihara.
Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and NIS Director General Major Gen (Rtd) Philip Kameru were also in attendance.
President Kenyatta on Thursday flew directly to Samburu for the NSC meeting from Nakuru after commissioning the Kenya Defence Forces’ new cadet officers at the Kenya Military Academy, which DP Ruto did not attend.
Dr Ruto’s Spokesperson David Mugonyi and State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena did not respond to our queries on why the DP skipped the event.
Security agencies are, by tradition and by law, supposed to keep the President and his deputy fully appraised of all intelligence and national security matters.
The meeting is said to have evaluated important national security issues for 2020 and deliberated on anticipated challenges for the coming year.
Widening cracks between Uhuru and Ruto
The DP’s absence in the recent meetings could indicate widening cracks in his relationship with his boss fueled mainly by the ongoing efforts to amend the Constitution through the BBI.
The KDF Kamanga Military Camp is one of the most secretive military facilities in the country.
It is used for the training of KDF Special Forces and the National Intelligence Services (NIS) elite unit, the NIS SOG (Special Operations Group), which in the past three years has taken a leading role in the fight against terrorism.
Invitees arrived at Kamanga on Thursday and left yesterday.
As the meeting went on, the DP was meeting his supporters and strategists.
On Friday, one of his allies, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, wrote on his Facebook page that he had held a meeting with the deputy president.
After being silent on his social media platforms for three days, DP Ruto on Saturday announced that he had a “constitutional duty” to assist his boss, President Kenyatta, in his effort to push through with the BBI constitutional amendment proposals.