President Uhuru Kenyatta sent Home Secretary Fred Matiang’i on a special trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday February 22.
Matiang’i has been tasked with delivering a personal message to the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed.
The CS was received by Sheikh Khalifa at Abu Dhabi International Airport where Matiang’i inspected an honor guard. The two then proceeded for a closed-door meeting at the presidential palace, Qar Al-Watan.
Matiang’i later held a meeting with Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the United Arab Emirates.
Left to right: Transport CS James Macharia, President Uhuru Kenyatta, CS Interior Fred Matiang’i and ODM Chief Raila Odinga inspect a government project in Kisumu County on October 21, 2020
“The focus of their bilateral talks was closer collaboration between the UAE and Kenya in the security sector. The duo also discussed the possible easing of VISA restrictions for TBEN traveling to the United Arab Emirates in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, ”the Interior Ministry said.
In 2014, Kenyatta visited the United Arab Emirates where he met with leaders from Jordan and the UAE on expanding and deepening cooperation in areas of mutual interest between Kenya and the UAE. . Discussions focused on issues of security, the fight against terrorism and the fight against radicalization.
The two countries maintained closer ties under the governmental Jubilee regime. In 2019, Kenya lobbied officials in Dubai to support Kenyatta’s Big 4 program and also held talks on logistics, infrastructure, retail, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and finances.
Matiang’i was elevated to the chair of the Cabinet Committee on Project and Program Implementation during Kenyatta’s second term. The President expressed satisfaction with Matiang’i’s work ethic and has delegated tasks to him since.
In his new role, Matiang’i oversees a key committee on the implementation of development programs, whose members include all Cabinet secretaries, the attorney general and the head of the civil service.
The former Education SC also chaired several Cabinet meetings in Kenyatta’s absence and also represented Kenyatta in several positions.
In March 2020, the head of state sent him to meet Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Matiang’i led a delegation that negotiated and handled the diplomatic feud between Kenya and Somalia.
Matiang’i’s rise also saw Kenyatta sideline his deputy, William Ruto, after an apparent rift between the two Jubilee leaders. Ruto had inspected projects before the March 2018 handshake between Uhuru and Raila. Ruto’s allies have in the past accused Matiang’i of undermining the DP and of using police force to undermine the DP and its allies.
Inland CS Fred Matiang’i inspects a parade during the official opening of the training of 161 officer cadets in Ruiru on Thursday, December 10, 2020.