Saturday, September 16, 2023 – Kenya is officially on autopilot after President William Ruto and his Deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, left the country on separate official duties.
While Ruto is scheduled to attend the 78th UN General Assembly from September 19 after meeting tech giants in the US, his Deputy, Gachagua, is expected to attend the G77 Summit in Colombia from September 14 to 16.
Back home this means that there is a leadership vacuum in the absence of the President and his Deputy; a perfect opportunity for Raila Odinga to stamp his authority and overthrow them.
Since Ruto took the oath of office, there has been no scenario in which the President and his deputy have been out of the country at the same time.
In situations where the President has been on foreign trips, Gachagua has been in charge.
But this time it’s different, both are out of the country on official duty.
In 2014, then-President Uhuru Kenyatta handed over power to his then-Deputy William Ruto by appending his signature to a decree. He surrendered the power to attend court at The Hague.
The transfer of power was dramatic with the president arriving at parliament to a guard of honor and the National Anthem and leaving his office at Harambee House without the usual ceremony of a Presidential escort.
In 2017 during the Launch of the Standard Gauge Railway from Nairobi to Mombasa then Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi was reportedly restricted by security agencies from leaving Parliament precincts until the Train which had carried Uhuru and Ruto arrived in Nairobi.
Constitutionally the Speaker of the National Assembly is third in the pecking order.
The absence of the President and his Deputy raises questions on crucial security decisions and more so in the event of a crisis.
The Kenyan DAILY POST.