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Cabinet goes on recess amid fears of reshuffle



President Uhuru Kenyatta has given his Cabinet a Christmas recess amid speculation they had been sent on what they fear could be compulsory leave before a Cabinet reshuffle.

Uhuru has lately scolded his Cabinet officials in public and by name  over various issues, such as nonpayment to maize farmers and never visiting the site of the devastating Gikomba fire in Nairobi.

Reports of a major reshuffle have been circulating for along time. Uhuru is said to believe that many current members of his Cabinet are not helping him to deliver on his Big Four legacy agenda.

He has told them that laxness would not be tolerated.

 The Star could not get State House spokesperson Kanze Dena by phone to comment on a possible reschuffle.

However, a letter from head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua said top government officials had been given a recess. It was dated December 18.

Kinyua said the recess did not give them clearance to leave the country.

“In the spirit of allowing you to celebrate Christmas with family and friends, it has been decided that you can take Christmas recess from December 21, 2018 to January 7, 2019,” the letter read.

Kinyua directed them to designate senior officers to work on their behalf. Sources indicate that panic has set in amongst most of the Cabinet, for fear they would lose their well-paying positions.

On August — a long time ago — the State House communications chief rejected speculation that Uhuru was planning to reshuffle the Cabinet.Dena said there were no differences between the President and his CSs.

However, in November, the President picked Chief of Kenya Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe as the chairman of the Blue Economy committee instead of the CSs.

“We were being told it’s a difficult journey. We started it with the general Mwathethe. I told him I want you to help me with this job. Because I knew if I go to the Cabinet secretaries I will be told about billions. I don’t know how many billions are required,” Uhuru said.

Insiders say the President has frequently expressed frustration and impatience during Cabinet meetings but this has now come out in the open with public rebuke of his team.

The latest was this week when Uhuru chastised his Cabinet secretaries as leaders with unquenchable appetite for money and who demand billions to deliver just a simple project.

 In a jab at his Cabinet Uhuru said some were only concerned about seeing themselves on TV and newspapers but doing little to deliver services to the people.

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