Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria’s office has been transferred from the upscale Two Rivers Mall to the NSSF building as his tiff with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua continues to put President William Ruto in a difficult place.
Kuria and Gachagua have in recent days been involved in a public war of words over the rising cost of fuel. This has exposed deep cracks within the government which is supposed to be speaking in one voice on how to get Kenyans out of the current mess.
Kuria’s tiff with the DP is just the latest in a long line of public tirades for the CS who has since his appointment to cabinet gained national infamy for hurling profanities on his perceived critics on social media and public gatherings.
Yesterday, Kuria added more embers to the fire by making another salvo to an unknown ‘master’ perceived to be the DP when he sarcastically apologised to Senate Majority Leader Boni Khalwale over his remarks that fuel prices would continue going up by Sh10 every month until next February.
“I have since been advised by people like Dr Boni Khalwale and his master that the statement was incorrect, insensitive and arrogant. I am made to now understand that the price will come down,” said Kuria.
While speaking to Citizen TV this morning, Khalwale declined to accept Kuria’s apology saying they were not elected to show Kenyans the middle finger.
“I refuse to respond to Moses Kuria because I am an independent leader and cannot be remote-controlled. The tone in his apology was nothing but sarcasm. We were never elected to insult Kenyans or show them the middle finger,” said Khalwale.
Kuria too has claimed that he did does not want to ruffle any feathers will now henceforth refrain from making statements that could potentially land him in trouble.
“From today I don’t want any trouble with anyone, I told you the truth but you don’t want to listen to me, let me do my job. I will create jobs for Kenyans, I will build industrial parks everywhere, I will find markets for your products and I will fight poverty,” said the CS while commissioning the construction of an industrial park in Kisii on Wednesday.
Kuria’s remorse may have come too late, as a scheme to cut him down to size already appears to be underway.
The CS did not accompany President William Ruto for the US-Africa Business Roundtable where former Trade CS Adan Mohammed was introduced as “Cabinet Secretary and Economic Advisor. This latest snub follows the refusal by US official Katherine Tais refused to meet him when she visited Kenya last month.
Kuria who was at some point one of the most traveled Cabinet Secretaries has also not had a foreign trip since President Ruto ordered all CS’s to seek direct permission from his office in case they want to travel outside the country in July.
And as if that is not enough, Head of Civil Service Felix Koskei has ordered Kuria’s office to be relocated from Two Rivers Mall back to the Ministry headquarters at NSSF building in town.
While explaining his decision to move his office from a public building to a privately owned mall in February, the CS said he wanted to give business delegations an ambience that will make them want to invest in Kenya.
“I visit many countries and I know the environment which the investors enjoy in those particular countries. I benchmark with many countries and will give investors an environment that ranks equivalent to what the other countries do.”
Kuria further noted that his numerous travels abroad than was because he had been appointed as special envoy by President William Ruto to facilitate Kenya’s trade agenda to other countries.
“In all these tours I was not sending myself, I was appointed as a special envoy by President William Ruto to talk to our neighbours and try to reestablish our leadership in terms of the region, to try to push through a couple of agreements that we feel as of strategic value and importance to the country.”