President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced new changes in the government ministries in a bid to strengthen service delivery.
In an executive order dated August 22, the President merged the Interior and immigration departments.
The reorganisation will see CS Fred Matiang’i take over the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) which was previously under the Executive Office of the President as was the Directorate of National Cohesion and Values.
The two dockets are now under the newly formed State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services that was established as a merger.
“(This is) to foster the integration of the functions of Registration of Persons and the functions of Immigration,” the President said
Further, the President directed that the Irrigation State Department currently under Agriculture CS Mwangi Kinjuri be moved to Water and Sanitation under CS Simon Chelugui.
This, the Head of State said, is targeted at enhancing synergy within the Water Sector, which is a key enabler for the implementation of the Big Four Agenda.
In other changes, the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) has been moved to the Treasury Ministry, a move that will see the docket have additional functions of budget and policy strategy.
The Public Service ministry will have additional functions of public service performance management and monitoring, while the EAC ministry will also be responsible for Kenya, South Sudan liaison services.
The president also directed that going forward, the Devolution ministry will handle the Kenya Development Response to Displacement Impact Project.
The changes take effect immediately.
To critics, the reorganisation is a big loss to CS Kiunjuri who the head of state has scolded publicly in the past over irregular maize payouts.
On the other hand, it’s a big win for CS Matiang’i who the president recently handed sweeping powers on the oversight of government programmes.
The president delegated the powers to Matiang’i in an Executive Order in January that for the first time handed a CS an expansive responsibility to chair and coordinate government development programmes and projects.
This includes chairing a key committee on the implementation of development programmes, whose membership includes all Cabinet secretaries, the Attorney General and Head of the Public Service.
Matiang’i has been instrumental in President Kenyatta’s presidency and is credited for spearheading reforms in ICT, Lands, Education and the Interior Ministry, handing him the tag of a ‘No Nonsense CS’.