Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has reorganised his government and stripped his deputy of power-sharing privileges.
The revised executive order has raised sharp debate in Kenya.
Some say it is routine and innocuous – that the presidency simply changing its name on paper to the Executive Office of the President.
But others are convinced it means President Kenyatta will no longer seek Deputy President William Ruto’s approval on important state affairs.
The deputy president may also lose direct funding to his office and power to appoint his staff. The head of public service has already alerted the finance ministry of the changes ahead of next week’s reading of the national budget.
Previously the pair – who first joined forces in 2012 as suspects at the International Criminal Court – consulted on key matters, including state appointments and government business in parliament.
But Mr Ruto has been in the shadows lately as President Kenyatta reorganises the ruling party and influential positions in parliament and the senate, as he seeks to stamp his legacy before leaving office at the end of his term in 2022.
Some analysts see these changes as President Kenyatta asserting his authority after voicing frustrations with the deputy president’s supporters in government, who he has accused of undermining his agenda for the country.
Already the ruling party has dismissed legislators perceived to be close to the deputy president from key roles in the house committees, replacing them with the president’s loyalists.