- Members of his security detail, drivers and press team among those yet to receive per diem for months.
The move could be seen as part of a scheme to curtail the countrywide activities of the “tanga tanga” team made up of politicians rooting for Dr Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambitions
Deputy President William Ruto’s office has been hit by acute budget cuts, with fingers pointed at influential individuals in the Jubilee administration playing power games to frustrate him.
The various outreach teams attached to the Deputy President — including his large media crew, security, drivers and protocol officers — are yet to receive their allowances since the final quarter of last year, severely curtailing their movements across the country.
In a single day, the teams typically travel separately in advance to multiple locations — sometimes up to four or five places — by road with the Deputy President mostly shuttling using a helicopter.
The move could be seen as part of a scheme to curtail the countrywide activities of the “tanga tanga” team made up of politicians rooting for Dr Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambitions, who have been accused of engaging in early campaigns that threaten President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy.
The President has in recent weeks asked politicians to focus on development.
The last per diem paid out to staff who travel with the deputy president, according to multiple sources, was when he visited Marsabit County on August 31, last year. The same sources also said their counterparts in the President’s side have not had issues with their allowances. The budget for Dr Ruto’s office, under the presidency, is in the hands of State House Comptroller Kinuthia Mbugua.
A senior civil servant who spoke in confidence stated that staff in the deputy president’s office are owed between Sh200,000 to Sh1.2 million each in allowances, depending on one’s job group.
The new reality has meant the scaling down of Dr Ruto’s tours across the country, compounded by pressure to lower political activity and appointment of Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i to chair the high-level Cabinet Development Committee. Dr Ruto has also had to cut down on the delegations to his Karen home.
Previously, DP’s tours used to start on Friday and sometimes continued until Monday.
But the Deputy President’s spokesman David Mugonyi denied there were budgetary constraints.
“Those are lies, total lies. It is not true at all,” Mr Mugonyi said when asked about the unpaid dues.