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Why PS Ngero Was Forced To Resign

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Esther Ngero takes the oath of office as Principal Secretary state department for Performance and Delivery on December 2, 2022. Photo| NMG

Esther Ngero’s resignation stunned many as this was the first high-ranking official in president Ruto’s government to have resigned. Before the cabinet reshuffling that saw her being transferred to Correctional Services in the Interior department, she was the Principal Secretary (PS) to the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary. The transfer she viewed as a ‘downgrading’

It has now emerged that the fight over the control of millions allocated to Mudavadi’s office is the reason behind her ouster and consequently the staged resignation.

It has now emerged that their was an internal fight within Mudavadi’s office which has two PSs over who should be handling the accounts. Ngero was head of the State Department for Performance and Delivery Management and was the accounting officer, the other PS PS Aurelia Rono, was in charge of Parliamentary Affairs considered less lucrative.

So a fight between the two escalated and word reached the president who quickly made a choice over whom he wanted to be controlling the accounts. Ruto opted for Ms Rono. He then transferred Ngero to the correctional services.

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This Ms Ngero saw as a shortchanging. Her appointment followed high ranking lobbying and it appears her ‘owners’ were unhappy as well.

Other sources also say Ms Ngero was too entitled and bragged that she bought her position and that no one in the office should mistreat her.

Ms Ngero was fished from Dalbit Petroleum where she was the managing director. Dalbit Petroleum is associated with Humprey Kariuki, the billionaire owns Africa Spirits Limited, Dalbit Petroleum, Great Lakes Africa Energy, The Hub shopping mall in Nairobi and the 5-star Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club, among other businesses.the billionaire businessman with interests in oil, construction, real estate and alcohol market. Kariuki is one of those who financed the campaigns of Ruto’s presidency.

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In December 2022, President Ruto appointed Kariuki amongst the 12 members of the private sector to the National Investment Council to fully constitute the advisory body.

Deputy President Rigathi and Dalbit Chairman Kariuki and Ms Ngero at a past Dalbit event.

In a landmark precedent judgement of the court in the One Bob award case of Lilian Omollo, the president cannot sack a PS arbitrarily without following a due process and justification that’s why they’re coerced into a smooth exit with is often clothed as resigning for ‘personal reasons’.

When she was exiting the private sector for public service she was fully aware of the perks that it comes with and even those who lobbied for her job knew their interests and what her positioning meant.

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Before the resignation, Ms Ngeno had refused to report to her new workplace.

This comes at a time when president Ruto has fired a warning to his cabinet which by the day appears to be engaged in corruption. A cabinet minister is currently under radar for his links to the poisoned sugar scandal. The Kemsa net supply has also been linked to a high ranking official in Ruto’s office. The president has vowed to crack whip on officials engaged in corruption but that has just remained one of his many unfulfilled promises but maybe this time he may deliver.


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