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2 powerful aides that will make or break Ruto's legacy

The two powerful dockets are the heart and engine of the presidency

President William Ruto signing an executive order at State House on September 13, 2022

As President William Ruto continues to settle into State House, Nairobi many Kenyans wait for his Cabinet to be unveiled, setting the agenda for his administration.

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Other than Cabinet Secretary positions, all eyes are on two other powerful dockets that will be the heart and engine of his administration.

President Ruto will require to appoint close assistants to run operations at State House and Harambee House.

According to former State House Comptroller Frankin Bett, the terms of service of a comptroller are similar to those of a Principal Secretary since the office holder is the accounting officer at State House and also handles the president’s diary.

They, therefore, make sure that every task, including those related to transportation, security, communication, catering, and general administration, is not only adequately budgeted but also carried out.

One’s success is determined by the whims of the president and that is why in your role as the Comptroller, you must be in constant touch with him, always seeking directions otherwise it may be misconstrued that you are also wielding power,” Bett said in a past interview.

Make sure the president is informed when one arrives, even when you don’t let them in. Tell him that there is a politician at the gate or on phone and he will either tell you to give an appointment, dismiss or allow them in,” he added.

The Head of Public Service takes instructions directly from the President and runs the Cabinet Office which communicates executive decisions, and handles the critical docket of supervision and coordination of ministries and departments.

Many former heads of public service have chosen to operate from Harambee House instead of State House, despite the close relationship the office holder has with the president.

Because the head of public service takes instructions from the president, the position is usually deemed senior to that of Cabinet secretaries.

This explains why a Head of Public Service can summon a CS or write a command letter to his seniors or approve their foreign travel.

Kinyua recently announced that all outgoing CSs would have to seek permission from President Ruto before flying out and incurring expenditure above Sh50 million.

State House Comptroller is like the hatchet boy. He is the president’s gatekeeper. Head of Public Service is the link between the President and the entire government,” explains Bett.

In Kenya's history only one woman, Sally Kosgey, has served as head of public service

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