Advertisement

Uhuru crafting new Cabinet with input of opposition allies

Friday July 03 2020
UHURU

President Kenyatta and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i at KICC where they met regional and county commissioners to review the Kazi Mtaani programme. The President is expected to reshuffle his Cabinet. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NATION WRITER

A complete realignment of the government — from the initial days of the Jubilee administration, when it was dominated by individuals from only two communities — to one akin to the Government of National Unity under former President Mwai Kibaki, is under way, the Nation can reveal.

This could be the last straw for Deputy President William Ruto, with indications that Cabinet Secretaries in his Tangatanga camp will be replaced in the changes, whose timing remains unknown.

The targeted ministers include Mr Simon Chelugui (Labour and Social Protection) and Mr Charles Keter (Energy), with the fate of their East African Community and Regional Development counterpart, Mr Adan Mohammed, unclear.

However, Ms Farida Karoney (Lands) and Ms Betty Maina (Industry, Trade and Co-operatives) are likely to be spared the axe, according to reliable sources.

Following what appears to be irreconcilable differences between President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto, the DP’s allies have been on the receiving end.

OPPOSITION PARTIES

Advertisement

Jubilee Party is working with opposition parties ODM, Kanu, Wiper and CCM, whose legislators have ganged up to kick out Ruto-allied politicians from parliamentary committees and House leadership positions.

Victims of the purge include Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki and their Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika, who were fired as Senate majority leader, deputy speaker and whip, respectively.

In the National Assembly, DP ally Aden Duale (Garissa Township) was knocked out of the lofty perch of majority leader as Cecily Mbarire (nominated) and MP Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East) were stripped of majority whip and deputy majority whip posts, respectively.

A host of Tangatanga-allied senators and MPs were also kicked out of House committees. Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga are now in the process of installing their men and women.

The Nation has learnt that the new government, to which key political factions will contribute members, will also be a reflection of the government being anticipated after the changes to the Constitution from the Building Bridges Initiative proposals.


So far, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress) are expected to propose Cabinet appointees.

PLAYING HARD TO GET

The leaders are not expected to nominate themselves, but individuals associated with them.

However, Mr Mudavadi, who is yet to sign any formal deal with President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party, is said to be playing hard-to-get.

READ: Wiper, CCM pact with Jubilee Party signals Nasa slow natural death

The former Vice-President and Nasa member has, in the recent past, left political pundits guessing after holding talks with leaders from different parts of the country as he seeks new alliances for his 2022 presidential dream.

In total, the coalition President Kenyatta is building will have close to 20 senior politicians, with an expanded Executive in which all the top seats will be distributed throughout the country.

A shake-up lower down, at the levels of principal secretaries and secretaries, is also in the offing, with the political leaders also presenting their candidates.

The changes will also involve portfolio reorganisation, with loyalists getting plum jobs.

The Nation could not establish which Cabinet portfolios would be affected, but the National Treasury and Transport were mentioned.

Advertisement