Details of what transpired behind the scenes that led to the abrupt resignation of Principal Secretary (PS) for Correctional Services Esther Ngero have emerged barely two days after she tendered her resignation.
According to sources, a fierce fight for the control of the millions of shillings allocated to the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary forced her to resign from President William Ruto’s government only six days after she was transferred to the Interior Ministry.
Before her reassignment to the Ministry of Interior and National Administration, Ms. Ngero was working in Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi’s office as head of the State Department for Performance and Delivery Management. She was working alongside PS Aurelia Rono, who was in charge of Parliamentary Affairs.
Mudavadi’s office is in charge of implementing national government policies and coordinating the national legislative agenda together with Kenya Kwanza leaders in both the National Assembly and the Senate.
Mudavadi’s office was allocated Sh751.9 million for its recurrent budget in the Supplementary Budget.
According to guidelines by the National Treasury, there is only one accounting officer for each of the government ministries. In cases where there is more than one PS, the accounting officer will be the one in charge of the State Department concerned with the deliverables in the Cabinet.
Ms. Ngero, before her reassignment, was the accounting officer for the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary.
According to a source, a fight between Ms. Ngero and Ms. Rono over control of the cash allocated to Mr. Mudavadi’s office caused a rift between the two.
However, when he was asked to resolve the stalemate, Ruto sided with Ms. Rono, saying she should be the accounting officer. The President went ahead to transfer Ms. Ngero from Mudavadi’s office to the Interior Ministry.
This did not go down well with Ms. Ngero, who grumbled about being short-changed despite lobbying for the position of PS through all means.
She resigned from Ruto’s government six days later after feeling betrayed.