Pundits argued that Deputy President William Ruto should have been the one to receive the president as protocol dictates.
“The DP should have been the one to welcome the president but you know the circumstances they are in and Matiang’i was given priority,” former Presidential Escort Officer told Kenyans.co.ke.
It is not the first time the DP and the Interior CS made headlines for having an awkward moment in public.
1.) Ruto mocking Matiang’i’s alleged presidential bid
On September 4, 2020, the DP laughed off the fact that Matiang’i was fronted to tough it out with him in the race for presidency in 2022.
Ruto mocked his rivals saying that they were scratching their heads to come up with the best possible candidate to challenge him once President Uhuru Kenyatta retired.
“They are meeting to strategise on my competitor in 2022. They have many potential candidates but they are still not confident about who can compete with me. They have thought about Raila Odinga but he is spent, they have thought about Gideon Moi but still not sure. They have approached Kalonzo, Mudavadi and even Matiang’i (laughs). They are struggling but I will just wait for them at the ballot,” Ruto mocked.
Matiang’i has been fronted a number of times as a future presidential candidate.
2.) President Uhuru making Matiang’i super CS
In an executive order No 1 of 2019, the president delegated powers to Interior CS Fred Matiang’i.
This meant that the CS was handed the responsibility to chair and coordinate government development programmes and projects. The President’s move was seen as a deliberate strategy to take charge of his legacy projects, especially the Big Four Agenda
The announcement would draw mixed reactions with some of Deputy President William Ruto allies stating that it was a move to undermine the DP.
3.) Matiang’i Responding to Relationship With Ruto
With the awkward moments witnessed between the second in command and the Interior CS, the latter was put to task to come clean on their relationship during an interview on NTV in April 2020.
Asked on what kind of relationship the two shared, CS Matiang’i responded, “I don’t know.”
“In exercising your responsibility as super CS, does it create a perception that this is a job that should have gone to the DP…There is no conflict of roles? NTV’s Mutuma Mathiu asked.
“I don’t know of any perception, the Deputy President is the DP of Kenya, what is my relationship with governor (Anyang’) Nyong’o? he is the governor of Kisumu county,” Matiang’i responded.
4.) Ruto allies reprimanding Matiang’i over Canceled Meetings
On a number of occasions, Ruto allies have condemned Matiang’i, alluding that he should respect the DP as his senior.
The recent encounter being in Nyamira county, on Thursday, October 15, where they faulted the CS for intimidating the hustler movement team by previously barring their meetings.
“We know some selfish men in government who planned to teargas bodaboda riders and church members, I dare you to come and arrest us,” Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro stated.
5.) Tense senate security committee meeting
In a senate security committee meeting in August 2020, the Interior CS allegedly criticised DP Ruto for sensationalising the arrest of three senators.
Ruto had claimed that police officers were used to threaten, intimidate and blackmail senators to pass the controversial Third Generation Revenue Sharing Formula.
“The DP is guarded by very many police officers yet he, while enjoying state protection, unilaterally condemns the police over matters for which he lacks facts,” Matiang’i noted.
At a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, October 8, Cabinet Secretaries reportedly dared DP Ruto to quit from his position as Deputy President and accused him of sabotaging the government and leading attacks on Interior CS Fred Matiang’i.