Shortly after midnight last Sunday, the Central Bank of Kenya sent out a press release.
It was to correct the assertion by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua had made a few
hours before, in an interview with Citizen TV, relating to the availability of foreign
While the Deputy President had stated that there was a shortage of dollars so bad that
the country could not import fuel, the Central Bank of Kenya stated that oil importers
get their dollars from commercial banks, not the CBK.
It was the latest in gaffes by Mr Gachagua, starting with the unscripted attack on
retired President Uhuru Kenyatta after the swearing-in ceremony and continuing at
events and on TV interviews. He has also had to play down the suggestion that he
was for the return of the controversial Shamba System as an approach to
The correction by the Central Bank was seen in some quarters as exposing the Deputy
President’s lack of information on economic and financial matters. He has also
complained and was subsequently corrected by the Treasury Cabinet Secretary, about
the state of the country’s coffers.
In the wake of his latest statements, communication personnel within the Kenya
Kwanza coalition were understood to have expressed frustration with his refusal to
take advice. He was also reported to have asked for more time to put together his
The Deputy President is bound to gradually get aligned with the preferred messaging
style of the President, who is known to go along with the advice of his agile
communication team. He did this during the Presidential Debate, where he mixed his
articulation and political experience and put Martha Karua in the pale.
The misstatements are also likely to pass as the reality of running a government sinks
in and the coalition gets used to being in power.
There are already signs that getting the support of allies in Parliament will be easy. On
Thursday, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula found a loophole in the
coalition agreements submitted by the Azimio leadership and the Registrar of Political
Parties to rule the Kenya Kwanza coalition the majority in the House he leads.
That will make life easier for the coalition in the short term and if the courts don’t
stop the National Assembly at the request of Azimio, President Ruto could soon have
his Cabinet and stop having to rely on his predecessors’ team.