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Has Uhuru’s Executive Order No.1 of 2020 clipped DP Ruto’s powers?

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Executive Order NO. 1 2020 has elicited a heated debate online with mixed reactions on what the action really means.

The move sparked mixed reactions online with a chunk of netizens and lawyers arguing that Uhuru had abolished The Presidency encompasses Deputy President William Ruto’s office.

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The new executive order supersedes a prior one issued by the Office of the President in 2018 which named the officeholders and functions of ‘The Presidency’.

The 2020 one presents the same, however, under ‘The Executive Office of The President’ and hence the heated debate.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 132 (3) (b) of the Constitution, as read with all other enabling Laws, I, Uhuru Kenyatta, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, order and direct: that this Order supersedes Executive Order No. 1 of 2018 (Revised) issued in July 2018,” the order reads.

Among those who reacted is city lawyer Donald Kipkorir who said the order will hugely affect operations at the office of the Deputy President.

He further explained that the budget set aside for the DP’s office will be done away with and also hiring of staff conducted by the Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua.

“Just like that, President Uhuru Kenyatta abolishes the Presidency and Office of the Deputy President! … We now have Office of the President …. Joseph Kinyua will be in charge of recruitment and dismissals in the new structure in the Office of the President. What exciting times.

“In new Executive Order, President Uhuru Kenyatta changes his office from “Presidency” to “President”. This innocent looking nomenclature change has huge legal implications … President denotes singularity of power in rem … The presidency is shared power … Offices of Deputy,” lawyer Donald Kipkorir wrote on Twitter.

However, lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi reasoned the order was misinterpreted saying that the term ‘Presidency’ represents Offices of the President and the Deputy President working as a unit.

“The leading legal commentary on the executive order issued today by H.E Uhuru are advanced on Twitter by laymen with zero legal education. The constitution talks of The President. The Deputy President…etc. The “presidency” is a “constitutional heresy,” Abdullahi wrote on Twitter.

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Below are other reactions from Twitter,

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