A section of leaders in Jubilee-leaning counties of Bomet and Tharaka Nithi on Saturday expressed disappointment in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s list of Cabinet appointments, saying it sidelined their regions.
Some leaders in Bomet said the President had treated them with disdain by failing to reward the loyalty of over 300,000 voters.
Led by Woman Rep Joyce Korir and former senate aspirant Stacey Chepkemoi, the residents called on the government to award the remaining slots to capable leaders from the region.
“As disgruntled Jubilee leaders from the region, we are shocked that not even a single position of Cabinet Secretary (CS) or Principal Secretary (PS) was given to us.
"We now demand to be given a Cabinet slot as we are equal to the opportunities being shared,” Mrs Korir said.
They questioned why President Kenyatta could not replace outgoing Roads Principal Secretary John Mosonik with another “capable person” from Bomet.
Also miffed were leaders from Tharaka Nithi who lamented the exclusion of the county’s elite from the Cabinet.
Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki, speaking during the burial of a businessman in the county, said they felt undervalued at the national level.
“Kuomba sio kwa kutupa mawe (Requesting is not by hurling stones),” he said.
“We cannot be a political stronghold that votes but when it comes to appointments, we are told our votes are insufficient,” he added.
Mr Njuki said the turn of events would make them rethink their political future with regards to automatic support in the forthcoming elections.
This is even as Kenyans from different persuasions, including some of the individuals who were allocated different positions on Friday, gave mixed reactions to Mr Kenyatta’s list.
Among the thrilled is Prof Margaret Kobia, formerly the head of the Public Service Commission who has been nominated to be the CS for Public Service, Gender and Youth Affairs.
“The government has a special focus on youth employment.
"This nomination has renewed my energy to serve Kenyans with humility and dedication,” she said adding, “I am grateful to the President who has given me yet another opportunity to serve in his government.”
Equally excited was former Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura, who will be the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of East African Community and Northern Corridor Development.
“I thank his excellency for the favour he has bestowed on me and the region. I promise to deliver on my duties towards his legacy and the people of Kenya,” he said.
Interestingly, ODM Youth President John Ketora also hailed the President for picking Mr Rashid Mohammed to the Cabinet.
“As the Youth league we appreciate the nomination of Mr Mohamed. When it comes to youth issues we rise above party, tribe and religion,” Mr Ketora said in a statement urging Nasa MPs to support the nominee
Gratefulness towards the president also rang from the counties of West Pokot, Kwale and Isiolo; and the regions of Western and Central.
In West Pokot, Jubilee supporters thronged the streets of Kapenguria town on Friday night as they celebrated the appointment of former West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin as the CAS in the Ministry of Education and the retention of Micah Powon as the PS for Devolution.
In Kwale, Governor Salim Mvurya and his deputy Fatuma Achani welcomed the appointment of two PSs — former Trade executive Safina Kwekwe Tsungu (Gender) and Prof Hamadi Boga (Agriculture).
“We are confident that these nominees have the requisite qualifications to deliver the national agenda to all Kenyans,” Mr Mvurya said in a statement.
Others appointed by the President from the Coast include former Mining CS Dan Kazungu and Margaret Mwakima, who Mr Kenyatta assigned to be High Commissioner to the Republic of Tanzania and Principal Secretary for Wildlife respectively.
In Isiolo, leaders praised Mr Kenyatta for retaining Ms Amina Mohammed in his Cabinet and appointing Mr Abdul Bahari Ali as CAS in the Labour Ministry.
Isiolo Deputy Governor Ibrahim Abdi Issa thanked President Kenyatta for fulfilling his pledge made during campaigns.
In the Central region, Mt Kenya Teachers Forum coordinator Ndung’u Wangenye thanked the President for retaining Mwangi Kiunjuri in the Cabinet and slotting in former Meru Governor Peter Munya.
Tension had started piling among the president’s supporters in Laikipia and parts of Central Kenya when Mr Kenyatta failed to retain Mr Kiunjuri in his first Cabinet list that had only six people.
Even the Western region was well considered in the appointments, according to Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka.
“On behalf of the people of Western, I would like to thank you for your continued consideration to the region.
"Every day, you bring new hope and boundless confidence that we are indeed a valued part of your government,” Mr Lusaka said.
Those considered from the region include Mr Mohammed, the Sports CS; Ababu Namwamba (CAS Foreign Affairs) and Ms Judy Wakhungu, who has been nominated Kenya’s ambassador to France.
Mr Eugene Wamalwa was transferred from the Water to the Devolution Ministry.
Mr Mohammed’s appointment sparked celebrations in Mumias on Friday evening.
Nabongo Peter Mumia ll congratulated Mr Mohamed for being named the first minister from the Wanga community.
In Mombasa, the Gabra community praised the President for nominating Mr Ukur Yattani to the Cabinet.
Mr Abdulkadir Billow, the community chairman, said Mr Kenyatta reciprocated the community’s support for his Jubilee Party.
In Tana River, the Orma and their professionals also praised President Kenyatta’s decision to nominate former Tana River Governor Hussein Dado as CAS (Devolution ministry).
Mr Abubakar Dara said Mr Dado’s experience in the civil service will help President Kenyatta deliver his agenda.
In Homa Bay, supporters of former Karachuonyo MP James Rege expressed disappointment over his failure to make it to the Cabinet despite his “strong” support for Jubilee party.
In Migori, some residents said they were not concerned with the nominees as they do not “recognise” the Jubilee government.
However, some members of the Kuria community in Migori welcomed the nomination of Nelson Marwa as the Devolution PS.
“It is good the president has recognised the Kuria community. We hope Mr Marwa will represent our interests well,” Ms Robi Nyangige said.
In Narok, the appointment of Patrick Ntutu to the position of CAS (Interior Ministry) was well received.
Some Maasai elders said the President made the best decision to have in the Interior docket that has often been headed by people from the Maa community.
“He is conversant with security matters having worked in the provincial administration during his youthful years,” Mr Hassan ole Kamwaro, the secretary of the Maasai Council, said.
And on social media, the discussion kept going, with a number of Twitter users questioning why some people were appointed to the Cabinet.
“It’s disgusting to see people who were voted out because of lack of performance being returned.
"We cannot be a political stronghold that votes but when it comes to appointments, we are told our votes are insufficient. That’s a slap on the face of the people,” Alex tweeted.
“With the president’s disregard of the rule of law, what stops governors from creating fictitious posts in their counties to accommodate their henchmen?” Mwinyi questioned on Twitter.
By Anita Chepkoech, Boniface Mwangi, David Mwere, Elvis Ondieki, Fadhili Fredrick, Galgalo Bocha, Joseph Wangui, Mwangi Ndirangu, Oscar Kakai, Ruth Mbula, Shaban Makokha, Victor Raballa, Vivere Nandiemo and Vivian Jebet