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Thursday, May 13, 2021 – Ever since President Uhuru Kenyatta issued Executive Order Number 1 of 2019, which consequently made Interior CS Fred Matiang’i a super minister, by bestowing upon him the power to coordinate all government functions and duties, he has unquestionably been the second most powerful man in the country after the president.

However, National Treasury CS Ukur Yattani’s recent directive to a couple of other ministries concerning the speedy operationalisation of the Lamu Port has raised eyebrows over the pecking order in the cabinet, and whether Matiang’i, who has been uncharacteristically quiet in recent times, still wields unchecked powers.

Yattani recently issued orders to all government agencies tasked with operationalisation of the Lamu Port to beat the May 30 deadline or else there would be trouble.

That is the date on which the port is expected to be operational.

State agencies have been racing against time to overcome key infrastructural challenges that will play a critical role in the clearance and transshipment of cargo along the Lapsset corridor.

Yattani directed the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) and Kenya Bureau of Standard (Kebs) to fast-track installation of key infrastructures.

“All ICT systems should be integrated, realigned and functional by May 30. All the state agencies must work round the clock,” said the CS.

Yattani’s directive has caused uncertainty and curiosity within the cabinet, especially since it has always been the preserve of CS Matiang’i.


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