Baya named to chair book firm’s board as president appoints parastatal bosses

Mr Baya is among politicians and former public servants appointed on Friday.

Saturday March 19 2016

Former MP Francis Baya (left) with Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa at a past function. Mr Baya will chair the Board of the Kenya Literature Bureau for a term of three years. FILE PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Former MP Francis Baya (left) with Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa at a past function. Mr Baya will chair the Board of the Kenya Literature Bureau for a term of three years. FILE PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday appointed former Ganze MP Francis Baya to head a State corporation as he acted to bring prominent politicians and former top civil servants closer to his administration.

Political analysts were quick to argue that the President was continuing in his bid to endear himself to the opposition-leaning Coast region.

Mr Baya, a long serving provincial administrator, will chair the Board of the Kenya Literature Bureau for a term of three years.

Elected to Parliament in 2007 on the Kadu Asili ticket, Mr Baya later joined Deputy President William Ruto’s United Republican Party.

President Kenyatta has shown a keen interest in drawing people of the Coast region to his Jubilee coalition and has spent the last five months making pledges on development and ending their marginalisation.

He appointed Malindi opposition MP, Dan Kazungu, to the Cabinet in the last reshuffle but his party lost the resultant by-election to ODM.

Mr Baya is among politicians and former public servants appointed on Friday.

The President also appointed former ODM Chairman Henry Kosgey as chairman of the Tourism Fund.

Former Head of Public Service Francis Kimemia was appointed as chairperson of the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation and Major-General (Rtd) Hussein Ali to the Non-Governmental Organisations Coordination Board.

“He is balancing regional interests and responding to complaints,” said political analyst, Prof Peter Kagwanja. “The President is building an image of a person who is interested in fulfilling the concerns of the public.”

The President also reached out to Mr Ronald Osumba, who contested the 2013 elections as Kenya National Congress’s Peter Kenneth running mate, and named him to chair the Youth Advisory Board.

Other appointments to various parastatal boards included business tycoon Mr Chris Kirubi (Brand Kenya Board), Ms Millicent Ogutu (Kenya Copyright Board) and Mr Jas Bedi (Export Promotion Council).

Prof Larry Gumbe, a political analyst, argued that the President appears to have realised the young team with which he moved to State House has let him down and was making appointments to bring in experienced people.

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